Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Elderly Pinellas woman scammed twice, agency says

State investigators have arrested a Pasco couple they say scammed an elderly Pinellas woman out of nearly $200,000.

John and Debra Morehart were charged in Pinellas County with counts that include conspiracy, grand theft of more than $100,000 and crimes against the elderly, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

The Moreharts, both 50, told the woman they would invest $199,000 of her money in a hedge fund, authorities said.

Instead, they used it to buy a million-dollar house on Lake Tarpon, according to Department of Financial Services spokeswoman Brannon Jordan.

The 89-year-old woman had been victimized once before by a company selling unlicensed annuities to the elderly, Jordan said. She received a settlement for $199,000 and investigators said the Moreharts "were aware" of this in October 2006 when they took a blank check from her and filled it out.

The woman was in touch with investigators from her first case and mentioned the second one to them.

John Morehart, of 11508 Manistique Way in New Port Richey, was arrested Tuesday. Debra Morehart, of the same address, was arrested on Friday.

Each posted $115,000 bail after being booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Neither could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Jonathan Abel can be reached at or (727) 445-4157.

Elderly Pinellas woman scammed twice, agency says 05/14/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2008 11:05am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.