Fort Lauderdale residents may be interested in the story of one couple who has been charged with running a theft ring out of their ice cream shop. The charges have led to one of them abandoning a run for local political office.

The proprietors of a West Melbourne ice cream shop are facing serious charges after police allege that they ran a theft ring out of the otherwise-legitimate store. One of the owners, a 50-year-old woman who was running for Brevard County Commission, withdrew from the electoral race just one week after agents from the sheriff’s office conducted a search of the business. Police claim that their investigation, instituted due to tips from the public, turned up evidence that the couple repeatedly hired others to steal items from locations around Florida. These items would then allegedly be resold to others through eBay and other methods. The investigators also claim that some of the money raised by the alleged thefts was funneled into the woman’s campaign fund.

Charges have now been filed against the couple for dealing in stolen property, racketeering and laundering the money. They are being held at the Brevard County Jail on a $65,000 bond. Reports indicate that three others have been charged in connection with the alleged scheme, with police still searching for a fourth alleged accomplice.

A theft charge conviction can have far reaching consequences for a person, including jail time and other criminal penalties. An attorney with experience in criminal defense may be able to help defend against these theft charges and ensure that a person’s rights are protected throughout the process. The attorney may also be helpful during the plea bargaining process, potentially reducing the charges through successful negotiation of a plea deal.

Source: Click Orlando, “Former Brevard County commission candidate arrested in theft ring“, Justin Warmoth, August 21, 2014

Source: Click Orlando, “Former Brevard County commission candidate arrested in theft ring“, Justin Warmoth, August 21, 2014

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