Antwoine Shane Brown of Miami, Florida was arrested last week for allegedly defrauding six people on Craigslist by taking payments for heavy equipment and a classic car, but never delivering the goods.
Brown, 24, is charged with grand theft, defrauding a financial institution, money laundering, and scheming to defraud and structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements. He is being held at Broward County Jail on $145,000. The press did not name an attorney for Brown.
According to the arrest report, Brown allegedly pretended to be a heavy equipment dealer on Craigslist and took $88,800 from six different people. The money was reportedly wired to his Fifth Third bank account in South Florida from July to August this year.
Brown used the money to buy money orders at Publix stores and to pay for his rent and other living expenses, the report said. The six transactions described in the warrant, according to the Sun Sentinel, are:
- A Texas woman paid $10,000 for a Forest River Heritage Glen travel trailer.
- A New Hampshire man paid $15,000 for a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.
- A Washington woman paid $22,000 for a John Deere 410J Backhoe.
- A Colorado man paid $15,300 for a 2003 Case Backhoe.
- A Georgia man paid $13,000 for 2015 John Deere Tractor 3033R.
The bank account was under the name Aaron Nevic, the report said. The customers who responded to the Craigslist ads reportedly received a phone call from someone called “Alex” who negotiated the deals and provided wiring instructions.
Brown was identified as the mastermind by surveillance video, a bank teller, and fingerprints on a withdrawal slip, according to the warrant.
Grand theft occurs when someone illegally obtains or tries to obtain another person’s property with the intent of depriving of their right to the property. The stolen item must be valued at $300 or more.
There are several defenses for grand theft, including lack of intent; mistake of fact, where the offender takes something under the assumption that it’s theirs; belief that the offender has the consent of the victim; and the offender taking the property for a lawful purpose.
Hiring a good attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of a grand theft case. Even if none of the above defenses apply, an attorney can still help the accused navigate the justice system and avoid severe penalties and a permanent criminal record.
Florida Grand Theft Attorney