PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Detectives assigned to the Burglary & Pawn Unit have arrested 46-year-old Ronald Pownall for Scheme to Defraud and Failure to Obtain Worker’s Comp.
An investigation began in August of 2023, after detectives learned that Pownall had fraudulently leased a portion of property, located at 4950 38th Avenue North in Unincorporated St. Petersburg, to a nursery business.
Detectives say the nursey business paid Pownall approximately $62,000.00 over a period of 18-months. Pownall created a false five-year contract with the nursery, in which Pownall claimed to be the owner of the property through American Property Group, LLC, where he is listed as the president.
When detectives interviewed Pownall, he admitted to creating the false contract and stealing the money. However, Pownall would not say what he did with the money or take responsibility for his actions.
According to detectives, Pownall also operated a Lawn and Tree Trimming Business, “Tree Ninjas Tree Service.”
Pownall employed, on average, four to five people daily and failed to have any workers compensation policy filed under his LLC for “Tree Ninjas Tree Service” from June 20, 2022, through September 8, 2023.
On December 21, 2023, Pownall was arrested and charged with one count of Scheme to Defraud and one count of Failure to Obtain Workers Comp. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
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