BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The Ice Cream Depot in West Melbourne was open Thursday despite the fact that owners Lisa and James McDermott were in the Brevard County Jail facing charges of racketeering, money laundering and dealing in stolen property.
"Really what you have is an organized theft ring. The McDermotts ran a fencing operation out of the back of their business," said Maj. Tod Goodyear with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
Lisa McDermott had a brief run as a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Brevard County Commission. She withdrew after it was revealed her business was under investigation.
Members of the Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Task Force believe the McDermotts
. partially supported the campaign with proceeds from stolen goods.
"They would send (people) to different areas throughout the state, to large retail outlets. Those people would steal large amounts of items like Rogaine Crest White Strips, most of it in the health care," said Goodyear.
Investigators said the McDermotts sold the items online or to
Records show the couple was paid $111,000 between November 2012 and June 2014. Four others are currently facing charges in the case.
"It's not reasonable to believe that much stuff is coming through your legitimate business, which is selling ice cream. You have health products coming through the back door and you don't know it's not legitimate?" said Goodyear.
The others being charged in this case include Leonard Greenberg, Susan Lovell, Brandon Lettiere and Thierry Lettiere.