Vero Beach business owner arrested for fraud, exploiting the elderly


For Immediate Release

March 15, 2016

VERO BEACH, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announces the arrest of Kenneth Purnell Kennedy, 64, 2845 Country Club Drive, Vero Beach, Florida for organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, exploitation of the elderly, and money laundering.  Kennedy is accused of abusing his position as co-trustee on the victim’s revocable trust with power of attorney for the victim.
The investigation shows Kennedy obtained a line of credit against the trust using stocks and bonds owned by the victim.  Kennedy claimed the money was needed to pay for the victim’s health care costs but instead he used it to pay expenses of his business, Kennedy Groves, Inc.
Agents believe Kennedy stole $900,000 paying outstanding bills associated with harvesting, packing, and shipping.  He also spent money on a personal boat. When the money wasn’t paid back, the stocks and bonds were relinquished. 
Kennedy was arrested last night and was booked into the Indian River County Jail on no bond.   The Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit, will prosecute the case. 
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Molly Best, Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001 or (850) 294-6538