Crime & Courts

Man gets 43 months jail time in tree-trimming fraud case

Charging an elderly woman $8,800 for a tree-trimming job and other felonies has landed a 31-year-old man in prison for just over 3 1/2 years, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

Sedgwick County District Court Judge Richard Ballinger earlier this month ordered Brandon Guffey to serve 43 months total in four criminal cases, including one in which he convinced an 86-year-old to overpay for cutting down a pear tree, the district attorney’s office said. Guffey initially asked the woman for $2,600, then twice returned to request additional payments.

The tree, the district attorney’s office said, was trimmed only, even though the woman had asked for it to be removed from her property. The job should have cost about $400.

In addition to serving prison time, Guffey must also pay $8,400 in restitution in the case.

The district attorney’s office said Guffey pleaded guilty in the felony cases to charges including theft, engaging in deceptive commercial practices, criminal use of a financial card, forgery, burglary and cruelty to animals for beating a dog to the point of severe injury.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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