FDLE busts fraud ring in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. ­­­­­­– Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with assistance from the Hernando and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Offices and Florida Department of Corrections Brooksville Probation Office, yesterday arrested three people for organized fraud, grand theft, conspiracy to commit grand theft, conspiracy to commit organized fraud and money laundering.
According to the investigation, scam artists posing as Tampa Electric Company (TECO) employees, called customers advising them that their electricity would be turned off if they did not make immediate payment using a virtual pre-paid card. The victims were required to provide the unique number on the back of the card giving callers access to the money. Once the suspects received the funds, they transferred them onto a separate debit card to avoid detection.
“Impostor scams prey on people’s trust and fear, and that is why I am fighting diligently to protect Florida consumers against all forms of impostor scams,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Working with FDLE, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Corrections Brooksville Probation Office, we have stopped this alleged scam to protect Florida consumers.”
 “This is a national problem; victims are conned into believing they will lose their electricity if they do not immediately pay money to scammers,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen.  “Because of our strong partnerships, law enforcement was able to put this fraud ring out of business and prevent further financial hardship on unsuspecting Floridians.”
TECO requested FDLE  investigate,  when it learned customers were being instructed to pay in a manner outside of their policy.
The following individuals were arrested yesterday and booked into the Hernando County Jail.
Allison Anaya, 36, 2157 Glen Ridge Dr. Spring Hill, Fla. $20,000.00 bond
Edwin Anaya, 42, 2296 Covington Ave. Spring Hill, Fla. $16,000.00 bond
Tiffaney Kennedy, 25, 6076 Silverdale Ave. Spring Hill, Fla. $16,000.00 bond
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case.
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Molly Best or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001