It is an unfortunate fact, but scam artists rarely do time for ripping off the public.
There are many reasons for that. But there are also exceptions to the rule.
Michael Wickherst leaves a Conway courtroom minutes after agreeing to a deal that calls for him to spend 15 years in prison and pay $77,000 to people he ripped off.
"Didn't see a lot of remorse…which is par for the course for the kind of person who would rip off the most vulnerable among us," says Prosecutor Cody Hiland. "You know whether he showed remorse or not…the bottom line is he is going to be punished."
We introduced viewers to Michael Wickherst back in 2006 when we visited his Little Rock home to ask some questions about the company he was running…Michael James Exteriors.
Then we chased him down to Louisiana after we got complaints that he was ripping off homeowners following Hurricane Katrina. He was arrested and extradited back to Lake Charles…where he entered a plea deal and was supposed to pay restitution to his victims…but never did.
Most recently Wickherst was operating Conway Roofing. Prosecutors say 18 homeowners in Faulkner County paid Wickherst for new roofs…but got nothing in return.
"Well…he spent some money at Visions (a strip club)," says Hiland. "Gambling…some of those type of things. You know, these folks who expected to get their roofs fixed because the money went into his pocket and then right back out."
Wickherst has complaints in many counties…especially Pulaski County…but so far he has only faced charges in Faulkner County.
The Attorney General is suing Wickherst.
The next hearing in that suit is may 10th.
Air date: April 9th, 2012
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