A Tarpon Springs man who officials say took payments from 19 different winter visitors to Florida to rent his mobile home has been charged with committing a scheme to defraud.
Pinellas County sheriff's detectives say William Ray Hunter, 41, advertised his Tarpon Glen mobile home at 1066 Flamingo Lane for seasonal rentals over the Internet.
Numerous out-of-state people, most elderly and retired, responded to the offer and entered into a rental agreement with Hunter to lease his mobile home for the same period of time, deputies said.
To secure the lease agreement, Hunter had the victims provide a deposit or full payment which ranged from $500 to $3,000. To date, 19 victims from states that include New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Illinois, Kentucky and Alabama, as well as Canada, have been identified, though investigators think additional victims are likely.
Detectives say Hunter took in at least $33,332 and they are continuing their investigation. Hunter was being held without bail Friday on a violation of probation on previous charges of organized fraud, racketeering and grand theft.