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Monday, June 24, 2024

Belleview man accused of $5K theft in pool repair scam

A 44-year-old Belleview man who received a $5,000 deposit to repair another man’s pool last September was arrested after the repairs were never started.

In early November of 2023, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy spoke with the male victim who advised that he had hired a man, identified as Robert Draughon, Jr., to repair his pool. This work would entail draining the pool, washing it, and providing a generator to filter out algae, according to the arrest report.

Robert Draughon, Jr.
Robert Draughon, Jr., 44, of Belleview

The victim advised that on September 28, 2023, Draughon traveled to the victim’s home in Ocala, and they devised a plan for the work that needed to be done. The report stated that the victim then provided Draughon with an up-front payment of $5,000, with another $3,000 being due once the repairs were completed.

According to the victim’s statement, he handed two checks to Draughon totaling $5,000. Draughon then “provided an excuse” that he needed to leave, and he would “be back soon with plans and supplies.”

The victim advised that he did not hear back from Draughon after providing the two checks. He stated that he made multiple attempts to reach Draughon via text messages, phone calls, and emails, but Draughon never responded, according to the report.

An investigation was launched by the sheriff’s office, and investigators obtained information from Bank of America showing that the victim’s two checks were cashed at a local branch on September 28, 2023, shortly after 1:30 p.m. The identification used to cash the checks belonged to Draughon.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2024, an MCSO corporal made contact with Draughon at his residence. After being read his Miranda rights, Draughon refused to discuss the matter.

Draughon was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, and he was released the following day after posting a $2,500 bond. He is being charged with grand theft, which is a felony.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.