Bryan County contractor charged with felony embezzlement

CALERA, Okla. (KXII) – A Bryan County man has been charged with felony embezzlement after he allegedly scammed a Calera man out of nearly $4,000.

Jake Trujillo was looking for a worker to install a covered metal building onto his house for an RV he previously owned.

“Rickey (Morris) got ahold of me, he came out and measured everything,” Trujillo said. “We sat and talked about our kids, they go to the same school and he seemed like a real down to earth kind of guy.”

Morris typed up an estimate for the metal building and told Trujillo it would cost $3,397. Trujillo met Morris at the bank where he presented him what he believed was an invoice estimate, cut Morris a check, and the work would supposedly get underway.

The following week rain pushed the project back, which Trujillo felt was understandable.

Then the next week Morris came down with a stomach bug. The week after that, Morris told Trujillo he caught COVID.

“Then it just became excuse after excuse after excuse going on from there,” Trujillo said. “Eventually I reached out to him, tried talking to him and he stopped taking my calls.”

Trujillo tried reaching out to Morris and his company via email and Facebook since he’d already procured a building permit for the metal covering which cost him $50 alone.

It took the town of Calera reaching out to Morris about the project for Trujillo to receive a call back.

“He said he was in a bad accident and his back was broke and he couldn’t work, and I said ‘Well you got my metal?’ He said ‘Oh yeah I got that’,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo asked Morris for a timeline, a date that the project would be finished. Morris had told him someone came to his house and stole three trailers and the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into the incident.

But the sheriff’s office had no report and told Trujillo they never received a call from Morris.

Trujillo then called J&D Metal in Colbert to ask if Morris had made building material purchases like he had previously claimed, or if they had received any quotes for the monetary amounts he had given. To both they said ‘no.’

“The building material I wrote him a check for was never purchased,” Trujillo said. “I wrote him a check and the 26th and it was deposited into his bank account on the 29th.”

Trujillo went to the Calera Police Department and filed a report against Morris and on April 26.

Morris is currently charged with felony embezzlement.

“There’s a lot of people who are out here trying to make a name for themselves, start their own business and follow their dreams and it’s people like this that destroy that,” Trujillo said.

If convicted, Morris faces up to five years in prison.

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