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NAPLES — The wife of a Collier County Sheriff’s deputy faces felony theft and fraud charges on allegations she embezzled more than $100,000 from a Naples business over a four-year span.
Her husband, meanwhile, is under internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, the agency confirmed.
Carol Peabody, 50, turned herself in to deputies on Thursday on charges of grand theft totaling more than $100,000 and operating a scheme to defraud for over $50,000. Both counts are first-degree felonies and carry a maximum 30 years in prison.
Peabody was arrested on a capias warrant, which is issued by the State Attorney’s Office. She was released from the Naples Jail Center on Friday on $20,000 bond.
Her husband, Cpl. Michael F. Peabody, is being investigated internally by the Sheriff’s Office, an agency spokeswoman confirmed. He remains on full duty in the Traffic Safety Bureau.
Reached by phone, Michael Peabody said he had no comment about the charges. Efforts to reach his wife were unsuccessful.
The investigation and warrant appear to stem from a November 2009 report made to Collier detectives by Gary Alan Withstandley, 53, owner of Gulfcoast Irrigation, Inc., in Naples. In the report, Withstandley accused Peabody, his office manager, of forging 36 checks over a period of four months to the tune of $30,339.43.
Withstandley, reached by phone, said the sum increased to “way more” than $100,000 as the investigation continued. The capias warrant charges Peabody with stealing the funds over four years, from October 2005 to November 2009.
Carol Peabody is the only suspect charged in the case, but Withstandley’s 2009 report to detectives named a second suspect as being the payee on five of the forged checks for a total of $4,520. The name of the suspect was redacted from the report, and Withstandley declined to elaborate. He said the fact someone was named on the check did not mean the person was involved in the alleged crime.
Withstandley said his company took a serious hit from the alleged theft, and that he’s since struggled to stay afloat. A poor construction economy and few irrigation jobs have made times even tougher, he said.
“For a small company, I’ve been struggling my (butt) off, to be honest with you,” he said.
Carol Peabody is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 23.
Michael Peabody joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2002, and he earns an annual salary of $57,449.34.
I work and know Mike good, I am sure he had no clue of this this. It is standard for the CCSO to start a PRB on any possible connection to such an allegation. He will go thru the crap, polygraph, etc. and be just fine. At least he is not on A-leave w/o pay. Who's next?
You can't even begin to compare DM to MP. Little Napolean has been moved from District to District & why is that? Remember why he was moved from D3? Ha, that's funny. I wonder why he moved from D2 to D1? It seems he's had plenty of time in PRB, unlike the other who is a stand up guy.
Good luck MP... A lot of us believe in you.
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
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