Humble man who worked for a construction company has paid back $100,000 to his
employer, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.
Ernesto Morales, 39, was facing a maximum of 20 years in prison when he agreed
to pay back a total of $300,000 in exchange for two years of deferred
adjudication probation. He is expected to return the remaining $200,000 as part
of his probation.
a victim whole goes a long way toward seeking justice,” said District Attorney
Ogg. “Crime shouldn’t pay, and Mr. Morales will pay back $300,000 in
restitution as part of this agreement.”
worked at Toney Construction in Cypress since 2003 where he rose through the
ranks to become a superintendent, overseeing employees at several job sites.
From 2013 until he left the company in 2018, he filed fraudulent timesheets and
deposited the checks for employees who either no longer worked for the company
or had never worked there. Several former employees also contacted the company
reporting that the tax records for their payments showed they were paid much
more than what they actually earned.
individuals are placed in a position of trust, supporting the livelihoods of
employees and owners, and they choose to abuse that trust by stealing, this is
the very definition of betrayal,” said Assistant District Attorney Sherin
Daniel, the prosecutor who handled the case. “Stealing from a company is not
just stealing from a corporate entity, it’s stealing from the people who work
there and from the owners. It effects the economic health of the company and
hurts their ability to contribute to their community.”
Restitution Center of the DA’s Office plans to give the $100,000 to the Toney
Construction Company on Friday.