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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas Barber has sentenced Ronald Carapellucci (51, Clearwater) to six years in federal prison and Manuel Parrado (47, St. Petersburg) to two years and six months in federal prison for their participation in a property-sale fraud scheme. Carapellucci and Manuel had pleaded guilty in July 2020.

According to court records, from 2015 through at least 2018, Carapellucci and Parrado conspired with others to take money from victims throughout the United States who wanted to sell their timeshare or other properties. Carapellucci, Parrado, and other conspirators placed telephone calls to these victims impersonating attorneys and real estate professionals. They misled the timeshare owners to believe that the conspirators had identified buyers for the victims’ timeshares and other properties. The conspirators further advised the victims that the timeshare and property sales could be consummated if the victims made one or more advanced payments to the conspirators for various fees purportedly associated with the sales, such as closing costs, courier services, title searches, transfer fees, and legal fees. Once the victims agreed to pay the bogus fees, the conspirators directed the victims to send funds via wire transfers to one of the conspirators. That conspirator then withdrew the fraud proceeds and shared them with the others, based upon each conspirator’s role in the fraudulent transaction. The conspirators often repeatedly re-contacted their victims and fraudulently advised them that additional fees were needed in order to complete the sales, and they continued to dupe the victims into sending bogus advance fees until the victims either ran out of money or became aware of the scam. 

Several related defendants have pleaded guilty to charges related to this property-sale fraud scheme:

Name

Charge

Sentence

Gary Kinard

Wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft

7 years and 11 months in prison

Martin Steele

Wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft

7 years and 5 months in prison

Mark Boring

Wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft

7 years in prison

Richard Bell

Money laundering conspiracy

3 years and 4 months in prison

Jeffrey Grospitch

Wire fraud conspiracy

2 years and 3 months in prison

David Bell

Money laundering conspiracy

2 years and 3 months in prison

Joseph Willett

Money laundering conspiracy

2 years and 3 months in prison

Donald Seimo

Money laundering conspiracy

18 months in prison

Kevin McGarry

Money laundering conspiracy

18 months in prison

Bryan English

Money laundering conspiracy

12 months in prison

Phillip Torres

Money laundering conspiracy

Five years’ probation

Michael Levan

Money laundering conspiracy

Five years’ probation

Troy Cater

Money laundering conspiracy

Five years’ probation

Paul Wagner

Money laundering conspiracy

Sentence pending

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachel K. Jones.           

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