Economic Crimes Arrest

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Economic Crimes Unit
Patrol Operations Bureau

Home Depot (Victim)

Lowe's (Victim)

Shane R. Adams (Suspect- Arrested)
DOB: 09/12/1977
Address: 2321 7th Street N, Apartment B, St. Petersburg, FL
Charges: Racketeering (104 Predicate Acts), Dealing In Stolen Property, Grand Theft-Victim 65 or Older, Criminal Use of Personal ID

Virginia S. East (Suspect- Currently in DOC for unrelated charges)
DOB: 09/11/1982
Address: 4400 1st Street N, Apartment 415, St. Petersburg, FL
Charges: 2 counts- Dealing In Stolen Property, 5 counts- Grand Theft

Christopher B. Laney (Suspect- Arrested)
DOB: 12/21/1973
Address: 5145 45th Avenue N, St. Petersburg, FL
Charges: 7 counts- Dealing In Stolen Property

Karina M. McKenney (Suspect- Arrested)
DOB: 11/27/1989
Address: Transient
Charges: 3 counts- Dealing In Stolen Property, Grand Theft

Christopher M. Wallace (Suspect- Currently in DOC for unrelated charges)
DOB: 04/29/1981
Address: 1830 York Street S, St. Petersburg, FL
Charges: 3 counts- Dealing In Stolen Property

Robert E. McCaslin (Suspect- Arrested)
DOB: 06/21/1980
Address: 5202 23rd Avenue S, Gulfport, FL
Charges: 2 counts- Grand Theft

Debra Moreland (Suspect- Arrested)
DOB: 08/20/1971
Address: 6370 104th Street N, Seminole, FL
Charges: 2 counts- Dealing In Stolen Property, 5 counts- Grand Theft

Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit have arrested seven suspects who took part in a large scale racketeering scam that targeted elderly victims and local businesses. Through a three year long investigation, detectives were able to identify one of the suspects as being the leader of the criminal organization who fraudulently obtained stolen credit card numbers from 19 elderly victims over the phone. The credit card numbers were then utilized to obtain stolen merchandise from local Home Depot and Lowe's stores. The organization employed numerous "runners" to obtain stolen merchandise and sell and return the items for large sums of money totaling at least $173,894.54.

The investigation began in 2012. The suspects were arrested at various times beginning on January 7, 2015 to October 2, 2015.

The investigation was conducted in Pinellas County.

The investigation began in 2012 when Home Depot Corporate Security notified the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office of ongoing criminal activities at some of their Pinellas stores. The criminal activity included an unidentified group of subjects who were utilizing stolen credit cards to purchase high dollar power tools and then returning the same items for cash.

Detectives said that in June of 2012, they successfully identified two participants in the criminal organization and they arrested each one for Scheme to Defraud, after $75,622 had been exploited from elderly victims.

Detectives were able to identify the leader of the organization as 38-year-old, Shane Adams of St. Petersburg. Shortly afterward, Adams was arrested for unrelated drug charges and was sent to prison.

Detectives say that Phase 2 of the investigation began when Adams was released from prison in July of 2013. Adams returned to his elaborate criminal scheme and proceeded to call elderly victims on the phone and fraudulently pressure the victims to renew magazine subscriptions that were not legitimate.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Shane Adams would call elderly victims on the phone and use "high pressure sales tactics to harass and berate elderly victims in to giving him their credit card information."

Detectives say that Adams would then use the credit card numbers to purchase high dollar power tools and appliances from several Home Depot and Lowe's stores in Pinellas County. Adams recruited several "runners" who would retrieve the stolen merchandise from the business and then return the merchandise back to the stores or sell the merchandise to local contractors for sixty cents on the dollar.

Detectives identified 19 elderly victims ranging from ages 65-89 years of age. Investigative surveillance lead to the arrest of Shane Adams for Racketeering (104 Predicate Acts), Dealing in Stolen Property, Grand Theft with Victims Over 65 Years of Age, and Criminal Use of Personal ID.

Additionally, six members of Adam's criminal organization were arrested for a total of 41 criminal charges that included Dealing in Stolen Property and Grand Thefts.

Detectives said that the total investigative financial loss from this criminal organization was $173,894; however, detectives estimate the total financial loss over the three year period at $800,000.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, "Detectives were able to dismantle a significant criminal organization that was exploiting elderly people within Pinellas County. The real victims in this case are the elderly. The elderly are very vulnerable, anytime the elderly feels stressed or pressured they should call law enforcement".

The investigation continues.

YouTube link to the press conference:

Shane R. Adams (Suspect- Arrested)

Virginia S. East (Suspect- Currently in DOC for unrelated charges)

Christopher B. Laney (Suspect- Arrested)

Karina M. McKenney (Suspect- Arrested)

Christopher M. Wallace (Suspect- Currently in DOC for unrelated charges)

Robert E. McCaslin (Suspect- Arrested)

Debra Moreland (Suspect- Arrested)


Posted by Friday, October 2, 2015 3:22:00 PM Categories: Property Crimes

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