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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Pest control fraud suspect arrested again

Tony Holt Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:57 PM

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Luis Angel Roman's first grand theft arrest wasn't much of a deterrent, detectives said.

He is suspected of committing the same criminal acts after posting bail.

Roman's latest antics were discovered by authorities and he was jailed again – this time without any chance for posting bond, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Roman, 41, of 10524 Parkside St. in Spring Hill, was arrested Aug. 30 on allegations he visited customers of his former employer – A-1 Pest Control – and duped them into signing lucrative contracts for pest control.

The suspect convinced these unsuspecting customers to pay money for him to exterminate a particular species of termite, authorities said.

"Because of the information being published in the news media (following his arrest), several more victims were identified and additional charges were placed on Roman," said Denise Moloney, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.

Roman decided not to lie low after posting $4,000 bail, according to reports.

"After further investigation, detectives learned that while out on BOND … Roman continued to scam and take advantage of our elderly citizens (his former customers)," Moloney wrote in a media statement. "Roman visited their homes and convinced them they needed pest control and/or fungus services that were NOT needed and collected large sums of money for those services."

As a result, Roman was arrested again, detectives said. His latest charges include two counts of grand theft and one count of fraud.

The customers who paid Roman were prior customers of his while he was employed with A-1, detectives said. None knew he had been fired.

The company terminated Roman's employment in July, according to reports.

Authorities said they began investigating Roman after a relative of one of his customers, who was visiting from out of town, questioned a contract the suspect had written for fungi removal.

The same relative searched the house. When he found no indications of fungi, he called A-1, at which time he was told Roman had been fired, according to the sheriff's office.

"Unfortunately, fraud is something that our detectives are seeing so much more of recently," said Sheriff Al Nienhuis. "They continue however, to work diligently to apprehend these cowards and bring them to justice."

Detectives said it is likely Roman has targeted more people. Their investigation remains open.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Irene Gray at (352) 797-3718. (352) 544-5283

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