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Uncle and nephew head to prison for heavy-duty equipment scam

October 31, 2018 

An uncle and his nephew who scammed customers by selling heavy-duty equipment that they did not actually own, have been sentenced to prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.

Eddie Nicholas, 54, and his nephew, John Nicholas, 36, were each sentenced to three years this week, after pleading guilty to theft charges.

“These two men stole from hard-working small business owners, including one who was financially devastated by the loss,” Ogg said.

As part of plea agreements, they admitted to swindling two customers.

One customer paid more than $100,000 to buy six telescoping boom lifts, which elevate workers into the air. The other customer paid $50,800 for six 500-barrel frac tanks.

The defendants also face charges in Louisiana and Iowa for similar crimes.

Eddie Nicholas pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of more than $100,000 and John Nicholas pleaded guilty to the same charge Tuesday.

They both fled the area earlier this year, but were extradited back to Harris County to face justice. Eddie Nicholas was in Louisiana and John Nicholas in Florida.

The case was investigated by Houston Police and prosecuted by the Consumer Fraud Section of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

“This so-called family business was all about wrecking the lives of others,” Assistant District Attorney Steven Belt said. “And the uncle and nephew who stole together can now head to prison together.”