A Largo, Florida, RV dealer has been sentenced to 20 years for defrauding customers.
Jeremy Joshua Raney, 40, of St. Petersburg, was convicted of one count of scheming to defraud on June 8. State prosecutors accused him of taking in RVs on consignment, selling them and then keeping the money for himself, leaving buyers without a title and sellers without their money.
The business was owned by Raney’s father, but Raney was put in charge when his dad had a heart attack. The state claimed the business went downhill from there, as Raney used Consignment RV as “his own personal piggy bank.” The state presented bank transactions showing Raney spent lavishly at strip clubs, bars and restaurants.
According to detectives, their investigation began in September 2016, when one victim reported she placed her RV on consignment contract with Consignment RV. The RV was believed to be sold and the note on the RV was to be paid off; however, the loan was never satisfied.
The customers Raney stole from didn’t see mercy fitting for him, asking the judge give him the maximum sentence, 30 years. “I want the most you can give him,” said one victim.
Raney denied the allegations, but prosecutors produced bank records that showed he paid large tabs at strip clubs, bars and restaurants. “He used these people’s life savings to fund his dream,” Prosecutor Liz Jack said in court.
This is Raney’s fourth felony conviction. His record is extensive, including felony charges of DUI causing serious injury, resisting arrest, domestic battery, aggravated battery, false imprisonment of a domestic partner, tampering with a witness, battery of a law enforcement officer, plus dozens of misdemeanor traffic violations.
SOURCES: RV News, WFLA, RVtravel.com