Steal and be Convicted in San Angelo

Hard-earned money of 76 year-old construction contractor Dayton Harper was easily slipped away at his expense.


San Angelo Certified Public Accountant George Economidis has stolen almost $56,000 from Harper Construction. The owner is still on the process of recovering from the loss of his construction company which he has been running for almost 40 years already.

Economidis was demanded to pay $55,732 amends and $1,000 fine after pleading guilty Monday. He was accused of theft of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, a third-degree offense, for stealing Harper’s money.

119th District Judge Ben Woodward placed Economidis on deferred adjudication for five years. Two to 10 years of imprisonment and payment of fine up to $10,000 are the punishments for the third degree offense.

The Texas Board of Public Accountancy mandates its members to report any crime involvement of their co-members. The board will then conduct an investigation for the “discreditable act” and might take a disciplinary action.

“The community needs to know there’s a crook out there,” Harper said after Economidis was sentenced. “I worked hard for my money just so this man could take it. He’s out there living in Bentwood while I’m living across town in Lake View, and he’s stealing from me — that’s just not right.”

In the Tom Green County Appraisal District website, Ecomoditis is declared as the owner of a $250,000 house at Bent Tree Court. Intriguingly, Harper’s property at East 12th Street is valued at less than a tenth of that value. Economidis wasn’t able to return any calls for comments on Wednesday.

Nov. 12, 2007 has been listed by the court judgment as the date of the offense. Harper mentioned that the robbery started in the year 2007 and proceeded for a couple of years more. He received a number of calls from the bank mentioning that he is now in debt. Harper then reported his findings in February 2012 with an allegation that Ecomoditis is taking the money from him.

Harper said that the restitution that he will receive still won’t be able to compensate the bank penalties he incurred due to the incident and the money he spent to hire a new CPA.

Reflecting on the deferred adjudication sentence given to Economidis, Harper said he learned about the justice system the hard way in his younger years.

He admitted stealing a watermelon when he was 16 years old. He has been led to his chest to show how bad his act was.

“I got shot with buckshot because of it. I’ll tell you what, I never stole again,” he said.

Harper said that he was arrested for alcohol intake a year after. The jail confinement was an experience he never wanted to recall.

“There were no TVs in jails back then and all there was urination and vomit all on the floors. I remember sloshing around thinking, ‘I need to get out of here,’” he said.

Harper never wished for anybody to experience what he’s going through. But he wants the community to gain more awareness of people taking something to their advantage.


Posted by Diane Araga, on March 18, 2013 at 9:00 AM