A Prior Lake man with a long rap sheet was sentenced to prison for nearly seven years for fraudulently obtaining at least $3 million in government construction contracts and costing those who did business with him many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gerard L. Roy, 55, was sentenced Thursday in Minneapolis by U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on convictions for mail fraud and money laundering. Once Roy's prison time is complete, he will be on supervised release for three years. He'll also have to make restitution in an amount yet to be determined.

The prosecution contended that Roy used a significant portion of the money he stole for his own purposes, including making house payments, buying personal watercraft and snowmobiles, gold coins, a Corvette and a Jaguar, and transferring money into a personal bank account.

Roy "created fraudulent insurance documents to win construction bids, unfairly taking business away from honest contractors," Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement released after sentencing. "He then victimized his clients and subcontractors by leaving behind unfinished projects and unpaid bills without the financial protection that legitimate insurance bonds would have provided."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Langner, who argued in a court filing for an eight-year prison term, noted that Roy "has spent his entire adult life in and out of the criminal justice system. He has been convicted nearly 50 times for offenses involving deceit, theft, drugs and violence. The sentence imposed … may be the only way to adequately protect the public from the defendant's lifelong disregard for the law."

Roy's attorney, Matthew Fling, had sought prison time of 4¼ years, arguing that the amount of money the government says his victims actually lost because of the fraud was inflated.

In November 2015, a Scott County judge sentenced Roy to a year in prison followed by six months of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in July of that year. He was charged with forging construction bonds that his criminal history would have made him ineligible to receive.

According to Roy's guilty plea and other court filings in the federal case:

For roughly five years until early 2015, Roy owned and operated at least seven construction companies through which he bid on construction contracts offered by public and quasi-governmental organizations. They included: the cities of Minneapolis and Hastings, Washington County, the Metropolitan Council, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and others. Also victimized was Calvary Episcopal Church in Rochester.

He used the companies he controlled to obtain construction contracts by submitting fraudulent construction bonds asserting that the projects were insured against failure to complete the work or to pay subcontractors.

However, Roy had no such insurance and was ineligible to bid on the projects. He obtained at least $3 million in construction contracts and at least $1.8 million in payments on those contracts, and caused losses to clients, subcontractors and others of more than $800,000.

He forged signatures to create phony bond documents, including bid bonds, performance bonds and payment bonds, purportedly issued by a surety on behalf of Roy for one of his companies.

At least two companies he controlled filed for bankruptcy during the period covered by the indictment, with total outstanding liabilities in excess of $1 million.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482