Associated Press 12-01-06 Business Owner Convicted Of Swindling Iowa State DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A construction business owner from Ames is convicted of billing Iowa State University for thousands of hours of work that was never done. Thomas Hinders Junior faces up to 55 years in prison when he is sentenced next month in Story County District Court on three counts of first-degree theft and one count of ongoing criminal conduct. Hinders owns Hinders And Associates, which prosecutors say charged Iowa State more than 400 thousand dollars from 2003 to 2005. The fees accounted for more than 15 thousand hours of work that was not done. University officials have said the company was hired to do several renovation and repair projects for which it billed the college on an hourly basis. © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.