Judge gives 'con man' contractor maximum sentence
Posted July 16, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens described a Triangle contractor as a “con man” Thursday before sentencing him to the maximum time in prison, 62 to 76 months, and ordering him to pay restitution to 11 families.
Richard Stacy pleaded guilty to 27 felonies, all but one having to do with his remodeling business, which had several names – Customized Contracting, RPS Contracting and RPS Builders.
Stacy did not speak at his sentencing. His attorney said Stacy was sorry and would be better off in a drug rehabilitation center to deal with his drug addiction.
Wake County Assistant District Attorney David Sherlin explained why he argued for the maximum sentence.
"These 10 families can never get this back. They were lied to time and time again. Mr. Stacy did this for his own benefit and that’s all," he said.
The judge told Stacy's victims why he chose to give him the maximum punishment.
"I'm so sorry, but I don't think you'll ever see a dime of (your money)," Stephens said. "So, we'll apply the deterrent factor. We'll apply the punishment factor. Sometimes that's the only thing people understand."
Victims speak out
Court records showed that Stacy took more than $100,000 from his customers, then did little to no work. Some of those customers were in court Thursday to share their stories and see him punished.
Kelly Mieszkalski tearfully showed the judge pictures of how Stacy left her house.
"My house is now in a condition that I can't afford to fix because I'm paying his debt," she said.
Stacy also used her credit card to make purchases without her permission. All told, she was out about $40,000.
Amy McCool says Stacy took $8,000 from her. She had strong words for him in court.
"If I'm not getting my money back, I want him to suffer ... and do without his family, and I want him to be inconvenienced," she said.
Debbie Dunkley said she paid Stacy $3,900 for work not done and a list of excuses.
“My greatest fear is that he will continue to ruin people's lives if he is released from jail. He has shown no remorse whatsoever. (He is) totally unaccepting of any wrongdoing," she said.
Previous stories of wrongdoing
WRAL's 5 on Your Side has followed the case for several months and interviewed some of Stacy's customers.
Brahma Mulugu said she paid Stacy $5,400 to remodel her basement but had little to show for it.
“I'm really frustrated. Extremely frustrated,” she said.
In August, Mulugu hired Stacy to do the remodeling job. She said that, after a worker painted block walls, Stacy demanded another $1,400. Three days later, he begged for another $2,000 to pay his workers, Mulugu said.
“Workers are standing right outside my house. My wife doesn't like it. It's really an awkward position. Please help me. Please help me,” Mulugu recalled Stacy telling her.
She said Stacy badgered her until she agreed to meet him at a bank and paid him. About a month later, a worker framed part of her basement, and it has stayed that way since.
Months later, Mulugu saw the stories 5 on Your Side had done on Stacy.
“I was shocked,” Mulugu said.
“He (Stacy) has an excuse list longer than the China Wall. It goes on forever. They just flow like water,” complainant Nancy Welsh said.
Welsh said she paid Stacy $9,000 for her incomplete remodeling job. She said the only time she could reach Stacy was when he wanted money.