A Wichita Falls man alleged to have victimized hundreds of people was stopped in his tracks recently with two prison sentences in the 89th District Court, according to the Wichita Falls Police Department, Friday. Aug. 8. Jason Earl Menikheim was sentenced to 10 years in the Texas penitentiary system and two years in a state jail Thursday by Judge Mark Price.
Assistant District Attorney Tony Bates handled the cases for the Wichita County District Attorney's Office which resulted in a change of address for Menikheim. The exact location of his new residence is not yet known as Texas authorities will make the decision as to which all-expenses paid facility he will be transported at taxpayer expense.
The defendant was sentenced after Bates made the judge aware of several fraud offenses, according to the WFPD. The Wichita Falls Police Financial Crimes Department received calls monthly as to when something would be done about the cases, according to Officer Jeff Hughes. Hughes further said that "we are happy to report The Jason Markheim (dba US Construction) is no longer a threat to the local community."
As chief of police, Manuel Borrego was the supervisor of the officers who successfully built the fraud cases. Hughes said the offenses included fraud and theft.
Bates explained that probation was a consideration because it could result in an order that restitution be paid to victims. However, he said it was decided jail was the best route to go, according to an article in the Wichita Falls Times Record News Friday, Aug. 8.
The defendant was sentenced to two years in a state jail felony for theft over $1500, less than $20,000. State jails were created by legislation which doesn't provide for early parole. Although they were originally created for state jail felonies which don't normally involve violence, defendants usually serve the full sentence. Ironically, a person who receives a maximum sentence for a state jail felony can actually do more incarceration time than a person convicted of a third degree felony.
He was assessed the 10-year sentence in prison for theft involving more than $20,000 and less than $100,000. It is impossible to predict how much of that time he will serve as the state parole board will make that decision further down the road.
Bates inferred seeking restitution through a probated sentence would be impractical since it would likely be coming from sources other than the defendant in these cases. The prosecutor said jail and prison would be more of a deterrent to the commission of further crimes in the future than would probation.
Menikheim has allegedly passed checks for more than $40,000 using his name and DBAs JJ's
Construction and Menikheim's Inc. While state jail felonies such as the ones in this situation cannot result in physical death to the victims they can certainly cause severe hardship which may lead to financial death.
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