ICSO: Financial fraud reaches Florida from West Iredell

  

Offense(s)/Charge(s): Felony Obtaining Property by False Pretense, Felony Exploitation of an Elder Adult

Location of Incident: Western Iredell County

Suspect(s):  Carlton Ross Thomas, 51 years Old

                    4036 Angel Oak Court

                    Tampa, Florida 33613

Sheriff Darren Campbell stated: On Wednesday April 21, 2021, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to an elderly citizen in western Iredell County possibly being the victim of a scam.

Patrol deputies responded to the victim’s home and met with the victim. The deputies learned the victim had been told by a caller, who claimed to be a law enforcement officer, had told the victim there were arrest warrants outstanding for them. The suspectthen told the victim, he was trying to help clear up the confusion and take care of the warrants. The suspect then convinced the victim to send 20,000.00 dollars in cash by FedEx, overnight to an address in Gainesville, Florida. The victim then advised they had put the money in a package which was sent out as Overnight Shipping.

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Investigators immediately contacted FedEx, and Florida Law Enforcement to locate the package, and have the shipment stopped. The package which had been shipped was intercepted in Memphis, Tennessee. FedEx officials were able to hold the package to prevent it from going to its destination. 

Iredell County Sheriff’s Investigators then learned the package was to be delivered to an Extended Stay America Hotel located at 3600 Southwest 42nd Street, in Gainesville, Florida. The investigators worked with members of the Gainesville PoliceDepartment in Florida, Homeland Security Agents, and FedExSecurity team members to locate the suspect who had used anidentification out of California to check in at the hotel. 

Gainesville Police were able to locate the suspect and identify him as Carlton Ross Thomas of 4036 Angel Oak Court in Tampa, Florida. Thomas had an active warrant for the Use and Possession of Fraudulent Identifications and was arrested at the hotel. 

During the investigation, it was determined other victims had also sent money to the suspects address. A package from Iowa was also stopped before its shipment. Money from a victim in Los Angles, California, was recovered at the front desk of the hotel in Florida. In total, 60,000.00 dollars in cash was recovered through this investigation.  

Gainesville Police has charged Thomas with three counts of Felony Exploitation of Elders, three counts of Felony Grand Theft, and one count of Felony Fraud and is being held in Florida under a 720,000.00 dollar secured bond.

Thomas was charged by investigators with the Iredell CountySheriff’s Office with Felony Attempting to Obtain Property by False Pretense and Felony Exploitation of an Elder Adult. Thomas will be extradited back to Iredell County on these charges.

Sheriff Campbell added, “It is because of the quick actions of family members, and our investigators working this case we were able to recover 60,000.00 dollars for these three victims, and stop this suspect from harming other elderly victims across the country”.

Author: Heather Gessler