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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 court’s sentence.

"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 him personally.

"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 someone’s wallet and stealing cash.”