Leader Blues

Saturday, November 15, 2008

TOP STORY > >Former owner of Cabot store arrested again on theft count

By JOAN McCOY
Leader staff writer

A Cabot business owner, who has been convicted on felony theft charges for failing to deliver scooters he sold on eBay and through his own Internet company, has been arrested on one new charge and nine more new cases are under investigation.

Cabot Police Lt. Scott Steely said even though eBay revoked Eddie Williams selling privileges two years ago when his customers complained that he was not delivering the product, he recently started selling again under a different name.

Williams is currently out of jail on bond for allegedly not delivering a scooter to a customer in North Dakota, and Steely said he is investigating cases in Missouri, Florida, Illinois and Washington state.

Steely said the evidence shows that, once again, Williams is collecting money for scooters and not ordering them from the dealers who actually ship them.

“There’s no evidence that he is paying for these products,” he said.

Williams and his wife Connie are both awaiting a Dec. 1 sentencing on the first conviction. But Connie Williams was not included in the recent charge. Steely said the customer told him he had only talked to Eddie Williams.

No trial date has been set on the most recent charge, but Steely said he hopes the judge takes the charge into account when he sentences the couple.

“My goal is to get him away from the computer,” Steely said.

In September, the couple was found guilty in Lonoke Circuit Court on six felony charges of theft of property.

Special Judge John Cole said the evidence from the prosecutor showed that the couple, who owned Tecboys in Cabot, intended to take their customers’ money and that the defense did not show otherwise.

The couple’s defense was that illness had caused problems for the business and that there had been no intent to defraud.

They were arrested in October 2006 after Cabot police started getting calls from concerned customers who apparently panicked after EBay took away Tecboys selling privileges.

Steely said then that his department got 15 calls the first week in October 2006, and 17 customers called the Arkansas Better Business Bureau.

Eddie Williams contended that his sales were out of state so Cabot police had no jurisdiction. Steely said this week that his defense has not changed.

“He still says we have no jurisdiction and it’s the shipper’s fault,” Steely said.