Feds Accuse Contractor Of Stealing More Than $230K From Texarkana Const. Co.


TEXARKANA, Texas–A federal indictment unsealed last week accuses a former employee of Texarkana-based Trumble Construction Inc., doing business as RBT Construction Inc., of bilking the company of more than $260,000 in 2020 and 2021 through phony invoices.

Dezmann Joseph Rice is facing six counts of wire fraud, according to an indictment pending in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Rice had allegedly contracted with Trumble Construction to supervise and manage water tank restoration projects across the country and used that arrangement to send the company bogus expense reports for labor, materials and services.

Beginning in January 2020 and continuing through March 2021, Rice allegedly scammed Trumble Construction of $260,230 by billing for work and equipment never performed and never actually purchased, the indictment alleges.

Rice appeared for arraignment Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Boone Baxter. His attorney, Heath Hyde of Heath Hyde PC in Longview, Texas, entered pleas of not guilty to each of the six counts listed in Rice’s indictment.

Judge Baxter released Rice on a $20,000 unsecured appearance bond. The case is scheduled for a jury trial in July before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III.

If convicted, Rice faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the six counts of wire fraud.

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