A 22-year-old Houston man arrested for being a prolific con artist was sentenced this week to eight years in prison for fraud and forgery, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.
“This con artist used all the tools in the scammer’s tool bag to lie, cheat and steal, and he was even doing it when he was free on bail,” Ogg said. “He stole other people’s money to live a life of luxury, which continued even while he was on the run from the law.”
Davion Deshay Sandifer, 22, was facing the possibility of 20 years in prison if he had been convicted in a trial.
Sandifer was accused of committing crimes across Texas and even, for a time, in Iowa. In Harris County, he was charged with a dozen crimes connected to his scams. He pleaded guilty to five counts: Fraudulent Use of ID of more than 10 and less than 49 items, False Statement to Obtain Credit between $30,000 and $150,000, Forgery of a Financial Instrument between $30,000 and $150,000, Tampering with Government Record and Interfering with Electronic Access Interference.
The remaining seven charges will be dismissed under the plea deal.
Assistant District Attorney Keith Houston, who prosecuted the case, estimated dozens fell victim to Sandifer’s scams. In the 12 Harris County cases, four victims were all repeatedly taken advantage of. At least 20 people in other jurisdictions contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office after seeing news stories about Sandifer. They were referred to their local police agencies.
One of Sandifer’s scams involved creating a nonprofit charity called the Genesis Foundation in which he claimed to be trying to help young adults exiting foster care.
Instead of helping people, he placed ads for jobs at the charity then used the information he gathered to commit identity theft. He also stole the money donated to the charity for living expenses.
“I’ve been chasing con artists since the late 1980s and he was one of the most prolific I’ve ever seen,” Houston said. “He just would not have stopped if we hadn’t stopped him.”
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