fraud

Thompson’s mental health concerns delay sentencing

Thompson’s mental health concerns delay sentencing

Laying the legal groundwork to reduce potential prison time, confessed United Way of Santa Rosa embezzler Guy Thompson’s attorney has obtained a delay in his client’s sentencing until Nov. 13. The 65-year-old Thompson pled guilty last May to federal charges that he looted the charity of about $650,000 while he was its paid executive director […]

Probation officer arrested for child porn

Probation officer arrested for child porn

Updated June 13 at 4:46 p.m. A cyber tip led to the June 12 arrest of a Milton man for allegedly acquiring child porn via Skype. Investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office traced the account back to an IP address tied to Justin Robert Vargo, 23. He was in a temporary residence in Baker […]

Milton man impersonates firefighter

Milton man impersonates firefighter

A Milton man is accused of pretending to be an East Milton firefighter to solicit money door to door. Ernest James Holley, 39, was arrested May 23 for allegedly pretending to be a firefighter. According to county arrest records from 2016, Holley is a register sexual predator. Read the full article in the June 6 […]

Thompson fraud fallout spreads

Thompson fraud fallout spreads

Concerns about former Milton Mayor Guy Thompson’s guilty plea on charges of looting the United Way of Santa Rosa County may prompt an in-depth audit aimed at uncovering whether financial fraud occurred within the city government he ran for 20 years. Although current Milton Mayor Heather Lindsay doubts that Thompson could have stolen municipal funds, […]

GUILTY! Fired United Way chief admits fraud

GUILTY!  Fired United Way chief admits fraud

Guy Thompson’s long career of leadership in community sharing turned to shame on Thursday when he pleaded guilty to 23 counts of embezzling money from Santa Rosa’s now-defunct United Way chapter and evading taxes on his illegal income. In the wake of a joint probe by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service that began […]

Ring of fraud crimes ends in Navarre arrests

Ring of fraud crimes ends in Navarre arrests

The arrest of two Mobile residents in a Navarre fraud case may lead to more charges after the pair allegedly stole four credit cards from a local small business. Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a fraud complaint Aug. 2 after the victim discovered several charges on her card that she did not […]

Two Romanians arrested for ATM skimmers

Two Romanians arrested for ATM skimmers

Two Romanians were arrested May 5 in Okaloosa County for allegedly installing ATM skimming devices according to a press release from Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO). Viorel Naboiu, 43, and Florin Bersanu, 31, were believed to be traveling state to state installing the devices on ATM machines.   Read the full article in the May […]

South Santa Rosa men plead guilty to government fraud

South Santa Rosa men plead guilty to government fraud

Two south Santa Rosa residents plead guilty this week and face up to 20 years in prison for fraud involving helicopter maintenance and inspections for Hurlburt Field Air Force Base. Ryan Romero, 51, of Gulf Breeze and Adam W. Fair, 42, of Navarre pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud.  The […]

Santa Rosa among nation’s top 50 scam targets

Santa Rosa among nation’s top 50 scam targets

If it seems that you’re getting more of those suspicious phone calls lately from someone claiming that you’re way overdue on money owed to the Internal Revenue Service or on a credit card, welcome to the club. The Escambia-Santa Rosa County area is ranked 45th among the country’s most popular markets for telephone scammers in […]

CHELCO advises members to be aware of scammers

CHELCO advises members to be aware of scammers

CHELCO asks members to beware of scammers posing as utility companies in both Walton and Okaloosa counties. These scammers will call a member on the telephone demanding payment by credit card, threatening to turn off their power if they don’t pay immediately. The scammers will give a name and badge number and ask for members […]

Paddle boards stolen and pawned

Paddle boards stolen and pawned

Seth Harrigan, owner of Seth’s Beach Services, was arrested Dec. 28, and released Dec. 30 on $5,000 bond. He was charged with fraud and larceny. Police say the arrest stems from a complaint made in June by rival beach service company owner, James Calkins that his storage unit on Gulf Boulevard was burglarized. Read the […]

Gulf Breeze City Hall targeted online

Gulf Breeze City Hall targeted online

As revelations from hacked emails roil the presidential race and Washington pursues an international probe into whether the Russians are behind it, the City of Gulf Breeze is also being challenged with a cyber-security mystery. City officials recently asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to uncover the source of repeated, anonymous emails seeking personal financial […]

Spoofing used in exploitation of senior citizens

Spoofing used in exploitation of senior citizens

No state has a larger elderly population in the nation than Florida. More than 4.9 million residents are 60 years of age or older, accounting for 24 percent of the state’s population, and scam artists are eager to exploit it. “Exploitation and fraud is one of the biggest categories of abuse against elders,” said Ashley […]

Local Woman Sentenced to Prison for Social Security Fraud

Local Woman Sentenced to Prison for Social Security Fraud

Tanga J. Tarnower, 73, of Navarre, Florida, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison and ordered to pay $132,957.70 in restitution to the Social Security Administration after pleading guilty in April 2016 to theft of government money.  The sentence was announced today by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern […]

Okaloosa investigator spots fraud suspects in parking lot

Okaloosa investigator spots fraud suspects in parking lot

Two Georgia residents suspected of shopping with credit card numbers stolen from members of Eglin Federal Credit Union are behind bars after an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigator working the crimes spotted them in a parking lot. The compromised credit card and debit accounts were used at locations in Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and […]