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GBI investigates Southeastern Marine for alleged stolen customer rebates, yields two arrests

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Featured Iva Melissa Stone (left) and Kevin Stone (right) Submitted Photo Iva Melissa Stone (left) and Kevin Stone (right)

An investigation into alleged stolen customer rebates at Southeastern Marine in Douglas has resulted in two arrests. Kevin and Iva Melissa Stone of Southeastern Marine were arrested on Dec. 21, 2017, and each charged with felony theft by taking, forgery in the first degree, and misdemeanor theft by taking after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked into a complaint that customers who were supposed to receive factory rebates after buying new boats and/or motors weren’t getting them.

The Stones were booked into the Coffee County Jail and released on bond. However, neither the GBI nor the sheriff’s department would release a statement about the investigation. DouglasNow.com obtained copies of the Stones’ arrest warrants this week. The warrants don’t contain much information about the case but they do have enough to see what the investigation was about.

Allegedly, the Stones asked employees of Southeastern Marine to forge customers’ signatures on rebate checks from Suzuki, the only company named in the warrants. They then allegedly kept the rebates for themselves without, of course, the customers’ knowledge. According to the arrest warrants, the alleged forgeries and thefts took place between Jan. 1, 2017 and Sept. 1, 2017. It appears from the warrants that the total amount of the allegedly stolen rebate checks is $11,025.

The warrants are worded exactly the same for both Kevin and Melissa Stone for each charge. Here is what the forgery in the first degree warrant states: “Kevin Stone [and Iva Melissa Stone] did violate OCGA 16-9-1(b) when he [she] willingly and knowingly with the intent to defraud he or she knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing, other than a check, in a fictitious name in or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority and utters or delivers such writing to-wit: Kevin Stone [and Iva Melissa Stone] forged a Suzuki Customer Rebate Form dated 05-31-2016 using [name withheld] name without his knowledge or permission.”

The felony theft by taking is as follows: “Kevin Stone [and Melissa Stone] did violate OCGA 16-8-2 when he [she] willingly and knowingly did unlawfully take and carry away certain property to wit: $11,025 cash money belonging to Suzuki Motors of America Inc. with the intention of depriving said owner of said property.”

Here is the misdemeanor theft by taking warrant: “Kevin Stone [and Iva Melissa Stone] did violate OCGA 16-8-2 when he willingly and knowingly did unlawfully take and carry away certain property to wit: $400 cash money belonging to [name withheld] with the intention of depriving said owner of said property.”

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