LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An additional felony theft charge has been filed against a former Lufkin pool store owner.
Rory Alan Stringer, 37, of Lufkin, was booked into the Angelina County Jail Friday on a state-jail felony theft of service between $2,500 and $30,000. He was released from the jail later that day after he posted a bail amount of $5,000.
The arrest was signed by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Donnie Puckett signed the warrant, and East Texas News has filed an Open Records request for the arrest affidavit.
Back in June, authorities filed two felony charges against Stringer in connection to allegations that he did not complete deliveries and installations of swimming pools. He is also accused of withholding child support payments from an employee and not turning those payments over to the state.
At that time, he was charged with a third-degree misappropriation of trust fund charge and a state-jail felony misappropriation of fiduciary or financial property between $1,500 and $20,000.
Before that, Stringer, the former owner of the Pool Store, was arrested on Feb. 23 and charged with 12 felonies - six counts of theft and six counts of misapplication of trust fund. He posted a collective bail amount of $250,000, and was released later that day.
A Department of Public Safety agent obtained the two warrants that were filed on Stringer back in June. One arrest affidavit alleges Stringer took $16,505.06 from a woman and did not deliver on the job. The other alleges Stringer withheld child support and medical support from an employee but did not submit the amount of $6,505.82 to the Texas Attorney General's Office State Disbursement Unit.
"There are going to be cases outside of Angelina County," Angelina County Sheriff Lt. Brett Maisel said. "The bulk of the cases are here in our county. It is very difficult for the families. We know at least five families in Angelina County have been affected by it. We also find it difficult to understand why someone would defraud the elderly."
According to the arrest affidavit East Texas News obtained after Stringer's initial arrest, a detective with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office contacted a 68-year-old man on Oct. 12, 2016.
The man said he had met with Stringer at the Pool Store on Sept. 23. 2016, and agreed to buy a 21-foot above-ground pool from the store and install it himself for $1,600. He said Stringer told him he would deliver the pool in seven to 10 days.
A civil lawsuit has also been filed in Judge Paul White's District Court. The plaintiff in the case alleges that he paid Stringer $81,575.65 for a pool and accessories. The lawsuit alleges that after the work was complete the spa jets did not work right, the UV system did not work, the tile decking around the pool did not drain properly, the spa drains down when the pump is off, no chlorinator was installed, the tile, and coping needed repairs as well as several other cosmetic issues.
The plaintiff also stated the family had to get another contractor to come in and do everything again. The lawsuit is seeking $144,100.
Since his arrest in February, Stringer has been attempting to start up a new pool business. Back in April, he confirmed that although no official paperwork has been filed with the county clerk's office, he is at work trying secure an LLC status.
Stringer closed down the Pool Store in September or 2016 for what he stated was personal issues.