Shore Area Swindler Indicted For $388,000 Con Job

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An Ocean County man captured by police in 2014 for defrauding potential tenants of a Howell Township home of security deposits through Craigslist has been indicted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office today.

In 2014, Michael J. Harrold, of Brick Township was captured in Florida after cashing checks for security deposits from multiple victims who he showed his Albatross Drive home to and entered into rental agreements with them that he never intended to honor.

According to court records, Harrold used a Craigslist advertisement to con would-be renters out of a $500 security deposit, netting at least $6,000.

The advertisements listed  four and five bedroom homes in “Ramtown” and “Howell” with rent ranging between $1,900 and $2,000 per month.

In March of 2014, an arrest warrant issued on Harrold out of Howell Township and police tracked him down to Florida where he was captured by a bailbondsman who bailed him out of jail on multiple occasions. When Harrold failed to show up for court, No Jail Time Bail Bonds began their search and captured him.    He quickly made bail, but today, officials announced new charges against Harrold.

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Harrold was charged on 39 different counts of theft and passing bad checks totaling over $388,000 at various shore area jewelry retailers in addition to his rental scam.

Assistant Prosecutor Martin Anton said Harrold would buy jewelry from stores such as Costco Wholesale with bogus checks and bring those items to local pawn shops and gold buyers to get cash.   He did the same with vehicles, buying vehicles from a car dealer and bringing them to another to sell.

Anton said he was also charged with money laundering after his investigation discovered  large amounts of Harrold’s proceeds were spent inside Atlantic City casinos.

He is currently out on bail.

Al Della Fave, spokesperson for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said it is not known if all of Harrold’s victims have been identified, but asked that anyone who feels they may have been defrauded by Harrold should immediately contact the prosecutor’s office at 732 929-2027.

Check back later for more details on this evolving story.


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A detailed log of Harrold’s crime spree…

4/5/2013 Brick Costco Wholesale $6,885.00
4/6/2013 Lakewood Pine Belt $31,853.00
4/7/2013 Brick Costco Wholesale $11,555.00
4/8/2013 Lakewood Larson Ford $24,928.00
4/29/2013 Tinton Falls World Volkswagen $23,000.00
5/2/2013 Tinton Falls Shrewsbury Motors $20,961.00
5/3/2013 Brick Costco Wholesale $5,260.00
5/9/2013 Lodi Gary Motors $47,190.00
22-May Brick Blaines Jewelry Box $7,329.00
5/23/2013 Brick Country Store Jewelers $9,523.00
5/24/2013 Brick Blaines Jewelry Box $4,450.00
5/24/2013 Brick Andrews Auto Body $759.00
5/28/2013 Brick Country Store Jewelers $4,922.00
5/31/2013 Howell Jewelry Link $8,560.00
6/1/2013 Point Pleasant Gold Fever $15,836.00
6/10/2013 Toms River Good as Gold Jewelers $13,000.00
6/14/2013 Wall Mr. Kim Jewelers $14,500.00
6/14/2013 Wall DeHearn Jewelry $14,000.00
6/16/2013 Eatontown Monmouth Town, Inc. $9,095.00
6/16/2013 Belmar Belmar Jewelers $9,000.00
6/18/2013 Freehold Salkin’s Jewel Case $39,055.00
6/20/2013 Brick Steven Chiarelli Jewelers $32,000.00
6/20/2013 Fair Haven Gem of an Idea $17,815.00
1/13/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
1/25/2014 Colts Neck J. Vincent Jewelers $13,000.00
1/31/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/11/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/18/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/20/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/22/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/22/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/24/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
2/25/2014 Howell Security Deposit Fraud $500.00
Total $388,976

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