Carpet bandit is ordered
to repay 11 customers
A carpet contractor who cheated customers out of nearly
$13,000 will be required to repay the money pursuant to
a guilty plea made in Platte County Circuit Court Thursday.
Robin R. Welke, 53, of Northmoor, pleaded guilty to multiple
counts of felony stealing by deceit. The court handed
down a seven-year prison sentence but suspended the sentence
provided Welke repays $12,940 due to his former clients.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd applauded the courts
"This sentence provides the best of both worlds.
It is more important these victims are fully compensated
for their losses than this criminal spend time behind
bars. But if Mr. Welke fails to completely repay the money
he stole, we can and will seek to send him to prison for
his full seven-year sentence, he said.
Welke admitted his business, A&W Carpet, promised
to install carpet or hardwood floors for 11 customers
from May through October 2002. He took deposits for his
work but never installed the carpet or flooring. In many
cases, Welke asked customers to make checks payable to
"Mr. Welke tried to take the money from these people
and run, Zahnd said. When a fraudulent businessman
cons people out of money without any intention of providing
the product he promises, it is no different than reaching
into someones wallet and stealing cash.