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  1. News

Pinellas sheriff: Largo RV operator arrested for defrauding customers

LARGO — The operator of a recreational vehicle consignment business was arrested Tuesday after the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said he defrauded several customers who placed their RV's on consignment with the business.

The Sheriff's Office said 39-year-old Jeremy Raney of Consignment RV intentionally defrauded multiple clients for RV transactions sales by collecting money from both the buyers and sellers and never satisfying the loans. Detectives began investigating fraud allegations after a victim came forward in September.

The Sheriff's Office said Raney conducted the scheme from June to October 2016, targeting five victims, for a total financial loss of more than $180,000.

The business was further investigated by the Florida Bureau of Dealer Services, and has since been closed. Consignment RV was owned by Raney's father, Howard Raney, but detectives said Jeremy Raney operated the business during the fraud.

The younger Raney was arrested on a felony charge of scheming to defraud. He was booked into the Pinellas County jail, but released Wednesday after posting $50,000 bond.