Florida man charged in theft of money from Georgia town

Montecello, Georgia

MONTICELLO, Ga. – A Florida man has been arrested for his part in an email scam that stole $46,000 from a Georgia town.

Edward Porter Allen III is charged with computer theft for money taken from Monticello, about 60 miles southeast of Atlanta. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrest Thursday, saying Allen had been extradited from Florida and was jailed in Jasper County, awaiting a judge to decide on bail. It’s unclear if Allen has a lawyer to speak for him.

GBI Agent Steve Foster said Porter was a middleman in the email scam, with the money first being transferred from the city to his bank account in Sarasota, Florida, with most of the money then sent on to Turkey. Foster said it's common to have American middlemen in such scams to ease the transfer of funds out of the country and help hide who's ultimately getting the money.

Foster said Porter had no prior association with the city. GBI agents say no personal information was stolen or released.

The Jasper County sheriff asked the Georgia Cyber Crime Center to help investigate the theft in May 2019.