Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement today arrested two Pasco County residents on racketeering charges related to theft of more than $480,000 from an elderly victim.
Chet Alan Ragsdale, 45, of 5621 Sea Turtle Court in New Port Richey, faces racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, 28 counts of grand theft, money laundering, 25 counts of forgery, 25 counts of uttering a forged instrument, and dealing in stolen property. Barbara DiCioccio, 52, of the same address, faces charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, 25 counts of grand theft and money laundering. Ragsdale and DiCioccio are not legally married but live together as a couple.
In April 2017, FDLE agents launched an investigation after a complaint was filed with the Office of Statewide Prosecution for grand theft. During the investigation, agents learned Ragsdale and DiCioccio worked for the victim. Both had access to the victim’s bank records and accounts. DiCioccio was entrusted with bookkeeping responsibilities.
The investigation revealed several checks made payable to the victim had been deposited into Ragsdale’s account and a joint account he had with DiCioccio. Agents determined DiCioccio would open the mail and give the checks to Ragsdale, who would ask the victim to endorse the checks. The victim believed the checks were being deposited in her bank account but they were not.
Ragsdale and DiCioccio used the money to purchase real estate. Other money was used to pay for credit cards and personal expenses.
Both were taken to the Pasco County Jail . Ragsdale has a bond of $2 million; Dicioccio’s bond is $1.1 million. The Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute.