The Bizarre World of Florida

Cosmetic surgery fraudster gets 20 years for IRS scam October 23, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Disgusting,Disrespectful,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 12:48 pm

A Clermont woman who spent $4 million from fraudulent income-tax returns on cosmetic surgeries, luxury cars and an Orlando restaurant was recently sentenced to federal prison.

sfl-flduh-cosmetic-surgery-scam-20141022-001Orlando-based U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. sentenced Tanya Fox to 20 years behind bars for conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of theft of government property and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, authorities announced Wednesday.

Fox, who was found guilty of the charges in July, was immediately taken into custody.

She spent money from fraudulent tax returns to purchase a BMW 7 Series, an Infiniti M35, a Chrysler Crossfire and a Volkswagen Beetle, according to testimony.

The government seized those vehicles.

But another vehicle, a Maserati, was repossessed before it could be seized.

“Fox also used the proceeds from these offenses to have cosmetic surgery on two occasions and open a restaurant in the Orlando area,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Details about those surgeries and the location of that restaurant were not released.

The government alleges that Fox, between January 2010 and June 2013, opened bank accounts in the name of false tax-preparation businesses and used other people to help withdraw fraudulently obtained tax-return money.

Fox used the Social Security numbers, dates of birth and names of patients at the health department to file the returns and obtain nearly $4.1 million.


Meet market? Man accused of stuffing sausage down his pants October 16, 2014

Filed under: Bizzarre,Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,WTF? — floridaduh @ 4:07 pm

A 42-year-old Fort Walton Beach man is accused of hiding a pack of sausages in his pants.

sfl-flduh-stuffing-sausage-pants-20141015-001Fort Walton Beach Police officers were called for the theft on Oct. 7, according to the arrest report. Two managers at Publix Supermarket reported seeing James Michael Patterson take a pack of sausages from the shelf, walk to another aisle and “shove the package down his pants.”

Patterson had previously been trespassed from Publix on Oct. 3, the report said. One of the managers recognized him and called police before the theft for the trespassing.

The managers said that after Patterson concealed the sausages, he continued walking through the store, according to the report. When officers located Patterson, he was carrying a case of soda.

He was detained and officers located the sausages package in his pants, the report said. Patterson said “he was just hungry and wanted food.”

He is charged with shoplifting and trespassing.


Phony officer punched bar patron October 14, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Dangerous Nut,Disrespectful,Dumb,Fight,Florida Nut,Fraud,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:13 pm

An Ellenton man was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer Sunday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

sfl-flduh-phony-officer-bar-20141013-001Adrian Q. Culpepper, 26, was arrested at 3:26 a.m. Sunday outside Three Oaks Bar & Grill, 3503 U.S. 301, Ellenton. According to a report, Culpepper walked into the bar and began to tell everyone that he is a sheriff and threatened to take them to jail.

“He talked about his ‘cop buddies’ and he will win,” a report states.

Deputies said Culpepper then hit a patron and was told to leave by another patron. According to a report, Culpepper then punched a man, giving the victim a bloody nose. The victim, who declined to press charges, tried to escort Culpepper out of the bar. According to a report, Culpepper again told them that he was a sheriff. He stood in the middle of U.S. 301 as a sheriff drove by in a marked car.

Culpepper was released from Manatee County jail the same day on $1,500 bond, according to the sheriff’s website.


Woman defrauds Victoria’s Secret out of more than $53,000 by stealing and returning underwear for cash October 5, 2014

Filed under: Controversy,Florida Nut,Fraud,Funny,OK Then .....,Robbers,Unusual,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:45 pm

After nearly a year of eluding police, a woman wanted for defrauding Victoria Secret of thousands of dollars is now in custody.

nathilia-hooksNathilia Hooks, 39, turned herself in to police Friday morning. She’s been charged with retail theft, organized fraud and money laundering/unlawful proceeds.

Investigators said Hooks would steal from the lingerie stores, return the items and pocket the refund. She reportedly came to the attention of the loss prevention fraud investigators at Victoria Secret last January after multiple returns to her debit card were found.

Total loss – about $53,000.00.

Aventura Police say they first started looking for her after she was captured on surveillance tape shoplifting at a Sunglass Hut store at the Aventura Mall. They circulated flyers with her images and they heard from a number of police agencies.

Aventura Police Det. Olga Burns told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “It feels great to have her in custody. We have been working on cases involving her since last November.”

Authorities say Hooks victimized Victoria Secret stores in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach counties, and in some cases, as far north as Orlando.

Police said she had been pulling the scam since last year. Police agencies in Bal Harbour and Palm Beach will have shoplifting charges against her.

Surveillance tape from one Victoria Secret store reportedly showed Hooks using a screwdriver to remove anti-theft sensors from clothing that police said she would steal and then turn in for a credit on her debit card.

Hooks turned herself in after learning there was a warrant out for her arrest. During her bond court hearing, Hooks did not speak but the prosecutor told the judge she pulled her fraudulent return scam at least 255 times over 18 months at 37 stores.

“We have a strong case against her and we have surveillance tape of her from some 30 stores,” said Shireen Brueggeman, an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor.

Brueggeman also told the Judge in bond court that Hooks had a history of arrests for petit and grand theft and larceny from 1993 and 1994. She said Hooks was also arrested in 1996 for carrying a concealed weapon.

In court, Hooks was represented by Assistant Public Defender. He said Hooks had lived in Miami for some time and had ties to the community.

But the judge refused to lower Hooks’s bond of $260,000.


Man repeatedly called 911 for taxi

Filed under: Alcohol,Amazing,Bizzarre,Drunk,Dumb,Florida Nut,Fraud,Really Dumb,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 3:37 pm

When in need of a taxi, the best number to dial probably is not 911.

But that, according to a recently released arrest affidavit, is what Jonathan Ray, 34, stands accused of.

sfl-flduh-911-taxi-20141001-001Vero Beach police initially encountered Ray about 4:20 a.m. at a Chevron gas station in the 2600 block of U.S. 1. He reported “some guys” tried to rob him two hours earlier.Ray’s 911 call for a taxi happened Aug. 30 in Vero Beach, and it wasn’t his first call to the emergency number that day.

“Upon talking with Mr. Ray it was determined that Mr. Ray was intoxicated, not robbed, and was simply trying to get a ride home to Sebastian,” an affidavit states.

Ray placed a second 911 call, saying he was “messed up” and needed a number for a taxi cab. Ray hung up on dispatchers after being told to call 411.

Ray called 911 a third time and said the Chevron gas station owner threatened to beat him up.

Officers arrived and discovered the Chevron owner wasn’t there, and they couldn’t find anyone else.

Ray was told all taxi companies in Vero Beach were closed, but would open in the morning.

He spoke with other companies, but they wouldn’t come to his location.

Ray was told he was misusing 911 and to call 411.

As officers left, Ray called 911 a fourth time inquiring about taxi service.

He was arrested on a misuse of 911 charge.


Man went crusin’ on his blind buddy’s credit card September 30, 2014

A South Daytona man is facing criminal charges after an investigation revealed he’d financially taken advantage of a blind Holly Hill man he met in Alcoholics Anonymous, police said.

sfl-flduh-crusin-blind-credit-card-20140926-001Larry Tuttle, 59, was arrested Wednesday and charged with fraudulent use of personal identification information amounting to $5,000 or more, fraudulent use of a credit card more than $100 and grand theft, records show.

Tuttle spent nearly $10,000, which included a cruise to Mexico, at the expense of Jason Derrico by opening three credit cards in Derrico’s name, Holly Hill police said.

Police were alerted to the possible fraud in July, and when they met with Tuttle Aug. 25 he claimed he’d been given permission to apply for the three credit cards in Derrico’s name, according to the affidavit.

The two men met at an AA meeting in 2013 and Tuttle, who claimed he’d been sober 30 years, told Derrico, 36, he wanted to be his sponsor, according to a charging affidavit.

Derrico said he initially enjoyed Tuttle’s company, but he began to grow uncomfortable when Tuttle wanted Derrico to pull away from his blindness support group and made inquiries about Derrico’s finances, according to the affidavit. Derrico told police Tuttle would sometimes yell at him if he did not disclose certain information.

About a year ago, Tuttle told Derrico his trailer had burned down, so Derrico allowed Tuttle to stay the night, during which Tuttle went through Derrico’s financial paperwork and said he could take better care of those matters, according to the affidavit. Derrico told police the two of them would make trips around the county, and once to Fort Lauderdale, where Tuttle would buy gas and make other purchases with what Derrico thought was Tuttle’s own money.

Derrico said he did remember Tuttle asking him to make several purchases, which made Derrico feel like he was being taken advantage of, so he cut contact with Tuttle in January, according to the affidavit. In July, Derrico began getting calls from a financial institution about owing money on a credit card that listed Tuttle as an authorized user.

Derrico closed the accounts, which Tuttle tried to reopen, according to the affidavit. Police said Tuttle made some payments on the accounts to keep them open as long as possible.

Tuttle was being held Friday at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $22,500 bail.


Granny sentenced for coaxing granddaughter to steal donation jar

Filed under: Amazing,Bizzarre,Disgusting,Dumb,Fraud,Really Dumb,Robbers,Sad Story,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:25 pm

sfl-flduh-granny-donation-jar-20140929-001The woman who used her granddaughter to steal a donation jar from a store will spend some time behind bars. A judge sentenced Rhonda Allen to 18 months in prison Monday.

Surveillance video from a store in Plant City showed Allen coaxing her granddaughter to steal the jar right off the counter.

Those donations were meant for a 15-year-old girl who was battling lupus.

Allen was emotional during her sentencing. She told the judge she had relapsed and started doing drugs again.

She said she regrets everyday what she put her granddaughter through.

“How could I have done this to my granddaughter? I’m sorry, I’m upset, but its killing me. My grandbabies are my life and I don’t really care what’s gonna happen,” she told the judge. “It’s already done and I’m very sorry and I’ve talked to the victim and I’ve told her how very sorry I am.”

Allen had a history of prostitution and theft, which factored into her sentencing.



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