HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla - Hernando County deputies say a woman defrauded multiple businesses out of at least $376,000 over the course of 15 months.
Angela Rose Arcona, 56, is facing organized fraud charges.
Arcona, who resides at 10355 Gannett Avenue in Weeki Wachee, owns and operate Southwest Equipment for Hernando County Incorporated. The business brokers the sale of large commercial printing machines that cost several hundred thousand dollars and weigh several thousand pounds.
Deputies say her duties consisted of securing purchases between parties and receiving deposits and payments from the purchasing companies as a means to secure the sales prior to inspection and disassembly.
According to deputies, from November 2011 through March 2013, Arcona solicited funds from victims for the purchase of several printing machines, totaling $376,200.
During this times, deputies say victims signed contracts with Southwest Equipment and wired funds to secure the purchases. Arcona provided the victims with fraudulent sales invoices, indicating various selling companies were using Southwest Equipment to broker the sale of the printing machines, deputies say.
When detectives with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office contacted representatives with the companies listed on the sales invoices, the representatives had no knowledge of any contracts involving Southwest Equipment, an arrest report states.
Deputies noted that on several occasions the machines in question were either not for sale, already sold, or grossly under priced on the invoices. On one occasion, Arcona provided the buyer a fraudulent bill of lading as proof the machine was being shipped, an arrest report states.
The process of disassembling and shipping the large machines costs several thousand dollars and requires the use of cargo ships or commercial trucks, deputies explained.
Arcona reportedly confessed to deputies that she created the fraudulent bill of lading and sent the victims various fraudulent sales invoices. Deputies say she denied the sales invoices were fraudulent even after shown proof stating otherwise.
Arcona also admitted to sending the victims invoices listing her company as the broker without personally contacting the selling company to confirm the availability of the machine, price, or any other pertinent information, deputies said.
According to deputies, the investigation revealed that Arcona engaged in a scheme to defraud the victims over an extended period of time by providing a series of fraudulent documents aimed to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars for sales she had no intention or means to complete.
Arcona's bond was set at $10,000.
This is not the first time Arcona has been accused of fraud. Back in 2005, she and her husband, Paul Arcona, were arrested and charged with organized scheme to defraud and grand theft. Deputies investigating that case say the couple defrauded eight businesses of $289,400.
In the current case, detectives believe there are other victims out there that have yet to be discovered. If you believe you have been a victim of this fraudelent activity, you are asked to contact Detective Tony Aguiar at 352.797.3723 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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