A 60-year-old Ocala woman has been jailed on $166,500 bond after she was allegedly lured into criminal activity by a man she met through an online dating service.
Cynthia Crockett has been charged with 13 counts of dealing in stolen property, 13 counts of credit card raid, 13 counts of violation of the Florida Pawnbroker Act, four counts of fraud-obtain property by impersonation and two counts of Forgery.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office detectives were contacted by loss prevention personnel from Lowe’s and Designer Shoe Warehouse in reference to their suspicions that Crockett was part of a larger organized fraud ring. These stores were receiving charge backs from banking institutions because the items Crockett was picking up and having delivered to her house were purchased using stolen credit card information. Detectives conducted surveillance on Crockett and observed multiple deliveries to her residence. During these transactions, Crockett signed for the delivery using fictitious names. Crockett was also observed on Designer Shoe Warehouse’s in-store video picking up products purchased with stolen credit card information. After multiple investigative subpoenas, it was confirmed the credit card information that was used for all of the purchases was fraudulent.
On Thursday, detectives executed a search warrant at her residence located at 221 SE Sanchez Ave. and Crockett was taken into custody. Several packages and electronics that may have been used during the online purchases were recovered by detectives during the search warrant.
During an interview with Crockett, she told detectives that she came into contact with an unknown man on an online dating website. During their conversations, the man convinced her to pick up items and accept deliveries from local stores and immediately ship them out of the country upon receiving them. While detectives were serving the search warrant on Thursday, two delivery trucks arrived to deliver packages. Detectives are following up to determine whether these products were purchased by fraudulent means.
Crockett is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on $166,500 bond.