Marion County Sheriff’s Office officials are searching for any other victims connected with the arrest of a 36-year-old Ocala man charged with fraud, obtaining property $50,000 or more.
On July 11, Michael Lee Thomas was taken into custody on a warrant for collecting money for work he did not do on customer’s vehicles. He has since been released on $10,000 bond.
Since his arrest, detectives said they’ve had several people come forward telling them stories of how Thomas swindled them out of their money.
While investigating the case, Sgt. Mike Mongeluzzo uncovered at least five victims who gave Thomas large sums of monies to work on their vehicles and after days, weeks and even months of waiting and excuses, discovered nothing had been done to their vehicles once they had been returned.
Former employees at the auto repair shop where Thomas worked told Mongeluzzo that Thomas never worked on customer’s vehicles. One former employee told the supervisor that whenever customers call to complain about why their vehicles were not ready, Thomas would threaten them with putting a lien on their vehicle if they keep complaining. The former employee said the customers would stop calling.
Anyone who has ever had a bad experience with Thomas can call Mongeluzzo at 732-9111 or Crime Stoppers at 368-7867, text a tip to 274637 or visit www.ocalacrimestoppers.com.