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Property Manager Accused of Booking Rentals and Stealing over $100K

WEEKI WACHEE – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is reporting the arrest of a property manager accused of stealing over $100,000 through a rental scam.

According to officials, in August of this year, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office began receiving numerous complaints from rental property owners regarding a local property manager who they believed was committing fraud.

Offiicials say 61-year-old John Bonesteel, operator of Nature Coast Assistance, served as the property manager in Hernando County for the rental properties in question.

Starting in 2022, several of the property owners began noticing inconsistencies in their rental incomes as well as changes to their online booking accounts through various online rental sites.

Upon further investigation, the victims discovered Bonesteel was renting the properties "off-site" and pocketing the proceeds.

Detectives with the Sheriff's Office soon got involved in the investigation.

Investigation revealed Bonesteel developed several schemes to field bookings of the victims' rental properties off-site.

Over a 24-month period, detectives found Bonesteel conducted 54 off-site booking totaling $107,127.

The investigation also revealed several instances in which people prepaid for bookings in the coming year (2023), which will result in no rental property for the booking.

On 10-17-2022, Bonesteel was arrested on charges of Organized Fraud and Grand Theft. He was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center where his bond was set at $11.000.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges are pending.


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