Columbia Police Department (CPD) Property Crime investigators have arrested two people in connection with a fake business deal at the real cost of $30,000.
Dennis R. Gadson and Shannon N. Green-Thomas allegedly defrauded the female victim out of the money on October 24, 2020.
Both suspects are charged with Obtaining Goods Under False Pretenses (Over $10,000).
At the time of the allegation, Gadson was the owner and operator of Noisy Wings restaurant on Bluff Road. The pair is accused of advertising for franchise opportunities for the restaurant. During the scam, the victim met the suspects on Bluff Road and gave them cash for the ‘franchise rights’ to operate the Noisy Wings location in Lexington. When the victim attempted to get the keys to open the business, she discovered that it was owned and rented by another business. Soon after, the victim tried to contact the suspects who refused to respond or refund the money.
Gadson was released from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center (ASGDC) after posting a $15,000 surety bond set by a judge. Green-Thomas was released from the same location after posting a $10,000 surety bond set by a judge.
All persons arrested/charged are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Here are a few safety tips from CPD and the Federal Trade Commission:
- Scammers often pressure victims to act immediately
- Resist the pressure to act immediately
- Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way
- Block unwanted calls or text messages
- Don’t provide personal or financial information to an unexpected request
- Report suspicious activity or suspicions of scams to local law enforcement
If the scam occurred in the City of Columbia, you can also file an online report at: https://columbiapd.net/submit-a-police-report/