Parker County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division conducted a lengthy investigation on an individual for defrauding several victims out of thousands of dollars in a septic service business scheme.
Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said the arrest, charges and search warrant followed months of investigating a man who promised to provide septic replacement and services to area residents, entered into contracts with the victims, took their money utilizing it for personal use, forged government records, failed to provide services and stole identifications, adding up to more than $100,000 stolen from unsuspected Parker County residents in a span of six months.
Sheriff’s investigators reported the suspect, identified as Joe Frank Slater, 52, of Granbury, used the identification of relatives and other individuals to forge records, open banking accounts and enter into contracts under the business name of 24/7 Septic Services. One individual reported Slater took out a loan for several thousand dollars using his name fraudulently.
Sheriff’s investigators reported once they began investigating Slater’s criminal activities, they discovered he spearheaded similar schemes across North Texas. Investigators discovered Slater had been using notary stamps of other individuals and forging their signatures to certify and file government records with area permitting offices furthering his scam. Slater additionally convinced other individuals to notarize and sign records outside the presence of the victims. Other victims reported Slater notarized records using signatures of individuals who were not present and failed to record their state-issued identification numbers or documentation the notarizations.
Slater’s fraudulent scams also include opening several banking accounts for several septic and landscaping businesses, defrauding victims throughout Parker, Tarrant, Denton, Hood, Johnson and Dallas counties, totaling monetary losses in excess of thousands of dollars from each victim. Sheriff’s investigators collaborated with area law enforcement agencies to learn Slater had conducted similar scams in neighboring counties, while spending the money at bars, restaurants, adult video stores, groceries, fuel, bills and Christmas bonuses for employees.
Parker County Criminal Investigations Division assisted Hood County Sheriff’s investigators in executing a search warrant for Slater’s business location in Tarrant County. During the execution of the search warrant, Sheriff’s investigators seized victims’ files, company records and several notary stamps. Sheriff’s investigators further discovered Parker County records show Slater fraudulently filed several packets for permits relating to at least 17 varying properties located in Parker County.
Authier said each victim identified Slater as the suspect who took their money without providing services and forged their permitting records. At least half of those victims reported knowing Slater as using an alias identity.
The Better Business Bureau was contacted by sheriff’s investigators, who stated Slater has additional case complaints from other victims under at least three different septic businesses.
Slater turned himself into Parker County authorities on April 10, 2021, for seven charges of forging government records and a theft of property from elderly $2,500 to $30,000. Sheriff’s investigators said the majority of Slater’s victims were elderly. Slater posted a total bond of $46,500. Slater was found to be on parole at the time of committing the offenses for a previous conviction of scamming several individuals out of money in a hunting lease scam. A parole violation warrant was issued for Slater, who was re-arrested on May 4, 2021. Bond was denied and Slater remains incarcerated in Tarrant County.