Jason Edward Mott, a 39-year-old mechanic from Spring, has been sentenced to 23 years and restitution of $749,555 in a plea deal for a series of thefts victimizing over 40 area businesses and individuals, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
Mott, who had previously been sentenced to 16 years in prison for running similar scams, was passing counterfeit checks off closed or fictitious accounts to set up auto performance shops and purchase high-dollar merchandise. Among other things, he stole tools, auto parts, six forklifts valued at over $300,000 and a 1967 Chevy Camaro worth $20,000.
"We will always go after predators who spend time gaming the system and scamming innocent victims," Ogg said. "Those who abuse our trust for profit should pay the price."
Mott was paroled on December 5, 2015, after serving four years on a 16-year sentence out of Montgomery County.
Within days of being released, he began using fake checks and a check-kiting scheme to set up a string of shops across Harris County, Montgomery County and even Splendora and Cleveland.
Those shops included Third Coast Performance, 1st Place Performance, Xtreme Performance, and Texas Autoworx.
Using those storefronts, Mott was able to collect money for services he never completed. He was also able to use bad checks to rent and buy vehicles, tools and auto parts that he, apparently, just sold. In total, Mott ripped victims off for nearly $750,000 worth of property and services, little of which was recovered.
He pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony of theft and, because of his earlier conviction, faced a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life.
"It's gratifying to bring people to justice who prey on others and take advantage of them through lies, trickery and deceit," said Assistant District Attorney Jason Horn, who prosecuted the case. "People are more likely to be victimized by financial and property crimes than any other type of crime. They cause real and serious impact on more people's lives and livelihoods, even if their scams don't get as much attention as violent crimes."