Posted on 1/30/2017

Defendant: Princess Marcel Harmon and Earnest Michael Pete

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said, “The ring leaders and their associates involved in these thefts targeted over 50 businesses throughout Franklin County scamming them out of approximately $23,000 over a 6 month time span.”  Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced today that the Franklin County Grand Jury has returned a RICO indictment against Princess Marcel Harmon, age 38, and her boyfriend Earnest Michael Pete, age 45.  The indictment includes charges of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, Grand Theft, Identity Fraud, and Telecommunications Fraud.  It is alleged that Harmon would call businesses, get the name of a high ranking employee, and then Harmon would later call back and pose as that high ranking employee.  She would instruct the employee on the phone to give a particular customer (that would be coming in) money for various reasons, would tell the employee to take the money out of the register and give it to the customer, and she would replace their register when she came in.  “Harmon would make the calls to the businesses, her boyfriend Pete would generally drive to the businesses, and one of their associates would generally go in to pick up the money while Harmon kept the business employee on the phone, so they couldn’t call the police,” O’Brien stated. The other associates indicted as part of this scheme are as listed:

            Jessica Ann Skaggs, age 23, Galloway, OH

            Derek Anthony Neal, age 27, Gahanna, OH

            Robert Allen Chandler, age 36, Reynoldsburg, OH

            Peggy Sue Busellato, age 38, Columbus, OH

            Donna Gail Linley, age 27, Columbus, OH


Some of the businesses scammed were the following:  Speedway (multiple locations), Shell (multiple locations), Marriott Hotel (multiple locations), Meijer, Giant Eagle, BP, Burnzie’s Old Trail Inn, Tee Jayes (multiple locations), Fiesta Salons, Plato’s Closet, Great Clips (multiple locations), Holiday Inn, Amy’s Donuts, GNC, Payless, Shoe Show, Cirilla’s, Gordon Food Services, Wendy’s (multiple locations), Red Robin, Arby’s (multiple locations), Petland, Turkey Hill, Hilton Garden Inn, Chipotle, Subway (multiple locations), Westin Hotel, Hyatt Place Hotel, Graeter’s, Tim Horton’s (multiple locations), LaQuinta Inn, Waffle House, Jimmy V’s, McDonald’s, Quality Inn, Panera Bread, Massey’s Sport Bar & Grill, Residence Inn, Cashland, Rally’s, and Jimmy Johns.  “These criminals scammed business throughout central Ohio in numerous locations including Columbus, Dublin, New Albany, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Hilliard, Gahanna, Upper Arlington, and Canal Winchester,” O’Brien said.  In 2014, Harmon was charged and pled guilty to similar offenses in Delaware County.  “She served 27 months in prison, and after getting out of prison in July of 2016, she picked up right where she left off with her criminal activity,”  O’Brien further stated.  O’Brien commended the Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission for their thorough investigation of this case.