5 On Your Side

Judge gives 'con man' contractor maximum sentence

Posted July 16, 2009

— 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.

Judge gives contractor maximum sentence Judge gives contractor maximum sentence

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.


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  • finesse187 Jul 17, 2009

    When needing some steps and a porch built for our new home in 2005 a neighbor recommended a brother duo from Broadway, NC. I think they both had problems (drug/alcohol). I say this because they always needed money (truck needed to be fix, other reasons) and on the day of final pymt. one of them stole from us. He acted all nonchalant like that wasn't our lattice on the back of his truck. It's so sad when people are taken advantage of. We've never had anything happen to us like these families but we've definitely been taken for. Needless to say they'll never get anymore of our business, money, and certainly no references!!! Our rule of thumb now is: NO MONEY UNTIL SERVICES ARE RENDERED AND WE'RE SATSIFIED!!! wish the families the best of luck.

  • oldschooltarheel Jul 17, 2009

    needs to be jailed for that skidmark on his chin at the very least. Poor poor drug addict, he doesn't need jail, he needs heeelllp
    This is the perfect inmate for field work, road projects, rock splitting - all the jobs that illegals don't want to do anymore. Put him to work for a good long spell & let his jail earnings go for restitution

  • HappyGirl08 Jul 17, 2009

    I guess if civil lawsuits follow, then maybe if he has any assets they will be seized. Stinks for his family but he made his bed and now they have to lie in it.

  • ConcernedNCC Jul 17, 2009

    How many times must things like this be published before people realize that you don't pay a contractor for work that hasn't been done. That's rule number 1. If he has to have money up front for anything but purchasing materials, and then the money should be paid to the supplier, then he does not have the assets to remain in business.

  • SaltlifeLady Jul 17, 2009

    Rogers, nobody said he was an unwilling participant. When you own your own business and you are the sole provider for your family, how are the bills supposed to get paid if he takes 30 days off to go to rehab? He may be unwiliing, I don't know, but I have a family member in the same situation. He knows he needs to go and wants to go, but financially, its impossible.

  • itsmyownopinion Jul 17, 2009

    This, unfortunately, is not the only crook out there. I won't tell you how I got taken or by whom, but I won't be as trusting again. The guy was recommended by a "mutual" friend -- someone I trusted.

  • rogers922 Jul 17, 2009

    cgh's mom wrote: He has a wife and two small kids. His Lawyer is right, he would have been better off in a drug rehab facility,

    Sorry, I disagree. Rehab rarely works, especially when you have an unwilling participant. As to his wife and kids, surely she had some idea of what was going on - either his drug abuse or his construction con scheme. In either case, she and those kids will probably end up paying for this also becuase the victims can seek redress in civil court for lost funds - which means the house is on the chopping block.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 17, 2009

    Isn't jail considered drug rehab?...just without the coddling?

  • SaltlifeLady Jul 17, 2009

    This is sad. I do feel sorry for the families who have lost so much money. However, I have known Rick since grade school. He was a nice guy. He has a wife and two small kids. His Lawyer is right, he would have been better off in a drug rehab facility, atleast for part of his sentence. Drugs make people do crazy things. He has friends he grew up with that have unfortunately gone down the same path, so they were no help to each other, and he lost his best friend of many years, also a contractor (and may have been a business partner as well) to suicide 3 or 4 years back. He has kind of spiraled out of control since. I wouldn't describe him as a con man, just a man with some problems that got way out of control. I hope he get the help he needs and finds a new perspective on life while he is serving his time.

  • Go Figure Jul 17, 2009

    Seize and liquidate ALL of this crook's assets, then pay these poor duped families back.