ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Orlando Regional Operations Center arrested Steve Vincent Barone, 46, and Robin Elaina Barone, 44, on charges of organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and criminal use of personal identification following a nine- month investigation where nearly 400 victim identities were compromised. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office’s Financial Crimes Task Force assisted FDLE in the investigation.
“Identity theft wreaks havoc on people’s lives, and my Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law. I urge all Floridians to visit MyFloridaLegal.com for identity theft prevention tips, and I encourage everyone to be vigilant and extremely cautious when giving anyone your personal information.”
The investigation shows that Steve and Robin Barone led a criminal organization that obtained personal information from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo accountholders by soliciting citizens via e-mail. With the victims’ personal information, the Barones ordered replacement debit cards and had the fraudulent cards sent to themselves at numerous Central Florida addresses.
“Agents believe this couple stole money from hundreds of victims,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “The crime was wide reaching, damaging not only the obvious victims, but also other consumers and our business community.”
After receiving the fraudulent debit cards, Steve Barone purchased money orders and deposited them into his business account, Steve Barone Enterprises, LLC. The investigation identified 396 individual accounts that were compromised and approximately $550,000 in fraud.
Agents served a search warrant at Barone’s home this morning, 2119 Meadow Vista Court, Orlando, Fla., and arrested Steve and Robin Barone. They were booked into the Orange County Jail on $180,000 and $105,000 bonds respectively.
The investigation is ongoing and there could be additional arrests.
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Samantha Andrews or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information