| -1.6°C Dublin

payment demands 'Irish' father and son jailed for a year in the U.S. for $729,000 home-repair scam

Documents filed in the case revealed how the Gormans would "just show up" and start working, demanding payments that third party experts deemed "exorbitant".

Close

Bartley Gorman Jr., left, Sean Patrick Gorman

Bartley Gorman Jr., left, Sean Patrick Gorman

Bartley Gorman Jr., left, Sean Patrick Gorman

TWO men described by US prosecutors as “Irish Travellers” have been sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay back $729,000 cash taken in home repair scams.

Father and son, Bartley Gorman, Jr., 56, and Sean Patrick Gorman, 27 appeared from Fort Worth, Texas, via video link to change their plea from not guilty to guilty this week.

A court affidavit says the two men are part of a crime ring known as Travelers, Irish Travelers and several other names and concentrated their efforts on construction scams in the rural areas of oil-producing North Dakota counties.

Documents filed in the case revealed how the Gormans would "just show up" and start working, demanding payments that third party experts deemed "exorbitant in relation to the work or supplies."

The poor quality work would often lead to future projects and extortion.

In other cases, they would show up and offer a low price for projects and later escalate the costs.

A prosecutor said the case included a man in McKenzie County, North Dakota, being defrauded out of $1.9 million by Gorman and others.

Investigators said the Gormans previously were involved in a widespread roofing scam members of the group carried out on elderly people in Oklahoma.

In North Dakota, investigators said the Gorman General Contracting company, was involved in “a pattern of racketeering activity.”

The two men pleaded guilty in South Central District Court, Oklahoma, on Feb. 8, 2021, and were ordered to pay restitution and spend more than a year in prison.

Judge James Hill sentenced them each to 30 months in prison with 15 months suspended and two years of supervised probation.

He also ordered them to pay $729,000 in restitution, in addition to court costs.

Bartley Gorman faced two felony charges for illegal control of an enterprise and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, both in McLean County.

Sean Gorman faces additional related charges, also in McLean County, which are scheduled for a change of plea hearing on Friday, Feb. 12.

States attorney, Ladd Erickson, prosecuted the cases, which involved firms run by the Gormans performing "deceptive work" and deceiving and intimidating victims.

Victims were typically elderly or otherwise vulnerable.

Gorman General Contracting operated as a shell business to conduct a pattern of racketeering in North Dakota oil-producing counties, according to court documents.

The states attorney in McKenzie County agreed not to prosecute and allow the Gormans repay $666,000 for which they were considered responsible.

Hill ordered the Gormans to pay $63,000 in restitution to victims in McLean County.

McLean County had seized $381,437 from Gorman bank accounts.

They are ordered to turn themselves in to McLean County by 9 a.m. on March 1, 2021.

Erickson also said there are warrants out in Dunn County, North Dakota, for other people in related construction scam cases.

“If I find out that there are additional Traveller activities in North Dakota, within my statute of limitations and I have jurisdiction to charge, I fully intend to file those charges,” he said.

In the plea agreement with the Gormans, Erickson insisted on all of the restitution paid up-front.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Privacy