LAFAYETTE — A 33-year-old Lafayette contractor was sentenced last week to serve five years in prison and ordered to pay $563,000 in restitution to three homeowners who accused him of misusing contractor funds, an official said.

Shane Welch pleaded guilty in January to three counts of misapplication of payments stemming from monies he received for services he never delivered, said J.N. Prather, an assistant district attorney with the 15th Judicial District.

Prather said Welch misused the money instead of applying it to building the three homes.

He said the victims ended up owing money to subcontractors and were forced to borrow more money to make those payments, in essence “having to pay twice for what they’re receiving.”

“Some of these people will be lucky to keep their houses because they just can’t afford it,” Prather said.

Judge Edward D. Rubin sentenced Welch to serve five years on each count, ordering that two of those sentences be served at the same time and the third to be suspended on the condition that Welch continue to make his restitution payments.

“To my knowledge, this is one of the most severe punishments in recent memory for contractor fraud,” Prather said.