A 50-year-old Ocala man was arrested for allegedly withdrawing funds on two separate occasions from a deceased woman’s bank account.
On Monday, September 27, a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office spoke with the deceased victim’s sister regarding the alleged theft, which records say took place at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union ATM machine located at 7139 North US Highway 441 in Ocala.
According to the MCSO report, the victim’s sister informed the deputy that while her sister was alive, employees from a nearby business would visit the victim’s residence to check in on her from time to time. The victim’s sister claims that one of the employees withdrew $1,000 in two separate transactions for $500 from the victim’s account back in late June, just days after the victim had passed away.
The MCSO deputy spoke with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s loss prevention department on Wednesday, October 6, and the credit union confirmed that the two transactions occurred a day apart on June 27 and June 28. Security footage at the ATM showed the same suspect, Melvin Lynn Lanfair, completing the withdrawals from the victim’s bank account.
On Thursday, the deputy visited Lanfair at his place of employment. Lanfair allegedly claimed that the victim gave him the debit card two days prior to her death and requested that he buy supplies for a big party that she wanted.
Upon further questioning, Lanfair allegedly stated he did not use the debit card to purchase supplies and admitted that he went to the ATM and withdrew $500 after the victim died. The following day, he withdrew another $500 from the same ATM. According to the report, Lanfair went inside the credit union to inform them of the victim’s death after the second withdrawal.
Lanfair states that he spent approximately $200 of that money on items for the party, and he pocketed the remainder and is not sure what the money was spent on.
Lanfair was placed under arrest and transported to Marion County Jail. He faces felony charges of grand theft and fraud and is currently being held on $10,000 bond. No court date has been scheduled yet, according to jail records.