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Cape Coral man, two others charged with theft from electric company

By Staff | Feb 23, 2013

A Cape Coral man and two others are accused of stealing more than $200,000 from an electric company in Glades County over several years.

James Robert Kelley, 44, turned himself in to the Glades County Jail on Friday, as did William Lewis Romine, 57, of Moore Haven, and Jeffrey Rand Friedman, 52, of Fort Myers, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Kelley and Friedman were each charged with one count of grand theft $100,000 more and obtain property $50,000 or more, and two counts of criminal attempt solicit conspire.

Romine was charged with one count each of grand theft $100,000 more, obtain property $50,000 and stolen property deal in organized, as well as two counts of criminal attempt solicit conspire.

Romine and Friedman have since been released from jail.

Booking information for Kelley was not available Friday evening.

According to the FDLE, a criminal investigation was opened when Glades Electric Cooperation complained about a theft of more than $200,000 from 2008 to 2011. The yearlong investigation resulted in the three arrests.

Romine, a former employee of the cooperative, reportedly used his position to orchestrate the theft of about $211,420, with Kelley and Friedman’s help.

Kelley worked as a salesman for Wallace International Trucks, and Friedman was the owner of a Fort Myers-based Performance Plus, officials reported.

The Glades County Sheriff’s Office, Fish and Wildlife Commission and State Attorney’s Office for the 20th Judicial Circuit took part in the investigation.