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Florida RV Dealer Arrested for Consignment Theft

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October 16, 2009 by   Leave a Comment

A Lake Wales, Fla.,  man has been arrested on charges that he took more than $90,000 from customers by selling their campers and recreational vehicles on consignment and pocketing the cash, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., Senobio “Sonny” Rodriguez, 63, who worked as the general manager of Lake Wales RV Consignment Center began taking in RVs and campers in 2007 on consignment and selling them, but once the items sold, Rodriguez failed to pay the original owners, according to the sheriff’s office said.

A nearly year-long investigation identified six victims in Lakeland, Bonifay, Zephyrhills, Sebring and Lake Wales, according to an arrest affidavit.

Rodriguez told detectives business had slowed tremendously because of the economy and high gas prices. He said he used the money from the RV sales to pay bills instead of paying the sellers, hoping to “catch up” one day, the sheriff’s office said.

He told investigators he went to the Hard Rock Casino frequently, and records showed he had lost more than $400,000 there from 2005 to 2008. Rodriguez told the detectives that he is a member of the casino’s “Plum Club” for elite members who spend a large amount of money at the casino.

The sheriff’s office said that according to casino records, Rodriguez, who filed for bankruptcy,  bet more than $4 million at the casino from 2005 to 2008.

Rodriguez has been charged with scheming to defraud more than $50,000, various counts of grand theft, unlawful subleasing of a motor vehicle and sale of motor vehicle by a dealer without certificate of title.

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