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CFO, IT head, charged in Tradewinds embezzlement

11:24 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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CLEARWATER, Florida - Detectives have arrested the former chief financial officer and information technology department head of the Tradewinds Resort on charges they embezzled $780,000 from the St. Pete Beach hotel over five years.

Harold Jones, 46, of Tarpon Springs was arrested on warrants during a traffic stop Wednesday morning in Tarpon Springs. He was the former IT department head at the resort.

Sam Baage, 58, of Miami, was arrested at the Setia Hotel and Resort in Miami Beach, where he is currently the Chief Financial Officer, a job he held at the Tradewinds.

The sheriff's office said the two created shell corporations to embezzle the money between January 2007 and February 2012.

The pair "used the money gained through their criminal activities to lead very comfortable lifestyles."

The two were employed by the Tradewinds from 2005 until they were terminated in February of 2012, three months after St. Pete Beach detectives received information they were involved in a possible theft. Last January, the investigation transitioned to the sheriff's office.

Jones was booked into the Pinellas County jail on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 15 counts of grand theft.

Baage was jailed in Miami-Dade county on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 14 counts of grand theft.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

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