Date: October 17, 2003 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager

Office Worker Arrested For Scheming To Defraud Over $200k

A five-month long investigation culminated in the arrest of a Mulberry man for scheming to defraud in excess of $200,000 in cash and products from Danielle Fence Manufacturing in Mulberry.  In a 9-page affidavit, Detective Steve Menge outlines how Roderick David Furnell, DOB 4/1/76, of 5172 Black Birch Trail in Mulberry, opened a bank account in the name of Danielle Fence, but was for his personal use only, at a Bank of America, and deposited monies that were intended for the purchase of supplies from Danielle Fence into it. 

Furnell was employed by Danielle Fence for over 3 years and was responsible for commercial accounts - selling products to and dealing with commercial customers.  Between the dates of August 21, 2001 and May 2, 2003, Furnell was provided payments for products from Danielle Fence, but put the money in his bank account instead.  

In all there were 20 companies and/or persons victimized by Furnell, most in excess of $300 or more.  Of those transactions, the average amount gained in each by Furnell was $7000. One of the victims, National Custom Fence, paid over $120,000 over the course of 53 transactions, all of which went into Furnell's account.  A list of the victims from all over the state follows:

  • John McKendree, San Antonio, FL
  • Global Boundaries, Sarasota, FL
  • Carlson Custom Building, Riverview, FL
  • Valdes Fence Company, Largo, FL
  • Bond Fence, Bradenton, FL
  • Brooker Fence, Sebring, FL
  • National Custom Fence, Orlando, FL
  • Shepley Fence, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Greg's Fence, Sarasota, FL
  • Formal Fence, Sebring, FL
  • Wyatt F. Smith, Jr, Eaton Park, FL
  • Griffen Fence, Lake Placid, FL
  • Safety Contractor, Jacksonville, FL
  • AAA Price Rite Fence, New Port Richey, FL
  • FL Sunrise Pool, Lakeland, FL
  • Steve Adams Fence, Lakeland, FL
  • Bert's Fencing, Bradenton, FL
  • Dreamtheme, Tampa, FL
  • Florida Fence, Sarasota, FL

Furnell fled the state in May when alerted to the ongoing investigation, but was located in Hillsborough County yesterday by detectives.  He was taken into custody without incident at his place of employment there, Spray-Crete in Tampa, and will be booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of 1 count Scheming to Defraud, 16 counts Grand Theft, and 4 counts Petit Theft.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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