PALAKTA, Fla. – Three people who have already spent time in both the Putnam County jail and state prison now face a combination of more than 70 charges related to theft and fraud.
Law enforcement officials said Carol Seuell, 36, Kimberly Longhi, 34, and Charles Carmichael, 34, all of Palatka, do not appear to have all worked together, although Longhi and Carmichael’s cases are related to each other.
According to an arrest report, Seuell has 27 charges of theft, fraud, fraud by impersonation and damage to private property. The report said that Seuell is accused of stealing multiple checks from one victim’s mailbox then cashing the checks at a Vystar Credit Union. The report said Seuell was seen on a security camera making the transactions at an ATM.
“I think what you have is a group of individuals who have figured out a way to target individuals in a unique way and they have used it to their advantage,” said Major Steve Rose with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the report, Seuell is no stranger to the VyStar fraud department because of previous activities involving stolen checks, but News4Jax learned the new cases are much deeper than simply allegations of stolen checks.
The arrest report states that investigators reviewed two phone calls made Dec. 6 between Seuell and Harold Ryster, who is already in jail on theft, burglary and drug charges. In one of the calls, Seuell is heard saying: “I got money pending on mobile deposits, so I hope tomorrow is a good day.”
The report further mentions Seuell saying, “I hope all the checks go through.”
In the second call 45-minutes later, Seuell is heard saying, “Hopefully if those checks go through, your ass will be out of there soon. We play our cards right and the [expletive] doesn’t go through, I swear to god, I might be on the run.”
On Monday, detectives met with Vystar fraud investigators who determined Seuell had committed multiple acts of fraud involving another person’s bank account. Vystar fraud investigators said Seuell was using the same scheme over and over again by depositing checks into her overdrawn bank account then immediately withdrawing cash, however, investigators, noted there was no funds in the account to justify check money.
According to investigators, Seuell made nearly 20 illegal transactions at an ATM between Nov. 22-25. Vystar reimbursed the bank accounts of the victims. According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s office, there were multiple victims, one of whom spoke with News4Jax.
“We were planning on doing some Black Friday shopping and our accounts were frozen because of their actions, so it really put a damper on our holiday fun," said the Palatka man, who asked not to be identified. “It’s sad to think that this is what our society has come to.”
Seuell is no stranger to law enforcement. She currently has multiple open criminal cases, including for an arrested on Oct. 30 on charges of theft criminal damage and molesting a coin-operated machine. She was also arrested Oct. 23 for theft. On Sept. 11, she was charged with burglary and theft. She’s also facing theft charges from an August arrest.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Seuell did two stints in prison for trafficking stolen property, providing false info to a pawnshop, grand theft and conspiracy to commit home invasion.
Longhi is facing 34 charges of theft, fraud, fraud by impersonation and dealing in stolen property. Longhi was arrested on charges filed by Palatka police and is currently being held without bond because the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said she violated an agreement to her previous bond after a Nov. 13 arrest on charges of dealing in stolen property, grand theft and providing false information to pawn shops.
While News4Jax awaits the details into the investigation by Palatka police, Longhi’s November arrest was the result of allegations that Longhi was stealing tools and equipment from her family’s business and pawning those stolen items at pawn shops in Palatka. She also has previous convictions for theft and drug possession.
Law enforcement officials told News4Jax that Longhi’s arrest is connected to the arrest of Carmichael by Palatka police on 12 counts of theft and fraud by fraud by impersonation. Carmichael has a long criminal record with multiple arrest and convictions for theft and dealing in stolen property. The DOC database shows Carmichael did two stints in prison for trafficking and dealing in stolen property and theft.