Juan DeDios Vargas, Gas Entrepreneur, Runs Up A Big Bill For Uncle Sam

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

According to his driver's license, he's Juan DeDios Vargas. According to the lucky people who happened upon whatever gas station he was at, he was Robin Hood.

Stealing from the rich -- in this case the U.S government (Hey, wait!! That's us taxpayers!!) -- and giving to the poor in the form of half-priced gasoline.

Vargas, who was a letter carrier for the Post Office for 13 years, used to get gas cards from the agency. A light bulb went off in his head.

"Vargas would pump gasoline for others at the gas station using a [government gas] card and his personal identification number, then take a small fee in cash from his 'customers.'" the U.S. Attorney's office says.

In four and a half months, he racked up $17,829.39 on the card and got approximately $8,500 from eager gas buyers.

Apparently he never thought that the government might wonder how a mail carrier could spend almost $18,000 in gas in less than five months.

"It's George Bush and those damn high gas prices!!" he might've argued, since this happened mostly in the summer of 2008.

Vargas pleaded guilty today to theft of public money. A conviction carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for July.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.