February 24,2013: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged 47-year-old Shelton Thomas with Robbery, Burglary, Dealing in Proceeds, Criminal Trespass, Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft by Deception, Theft by Extortion, Theft Receiving Stolen Property, Identity Theft, Use of a Communication Facility and Impersonating a Public Servant after he stole over $95,000 from an elderly man while posing as District Attorney Seth Williams.
For the past three years the defendant scammed at least $95,000 from 93-year-old Raymond Campbell. Mr. Campbell had hired the defendant to cut his grass, and in June of 2011 the defendant claimed he was arrested for dumping the grass clippings in an unauthorized dumpster. He then told Mr. Campbell that he had to pay court costs and fees associated with the arrest. The scam then escalated to the defendant posing as District Attorney Seth Williams, and also using the names of various judges to convince Mr. Campbell to continue giving money to the defendant. Mr. Campbell’s family tried to convince him that it was a scam but continued to give money to the defendant until last week when the District Attorney personally told Mr. Campbell it was a scam.
It is believed that Mr. Campbell, a WWII vet who has been in the same house for over 60 years, and lives on a modest pension from his over 40 years as a government employee, actually gave over $100,000 to the defendant; though the exact amount is likely much higher.
“This defendant is the lowest of the low,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “There are no words to describe the type of person who would steal from someone who’s only short coming is that he is too trusting. Mr. Campbell fought for our country in World War II, and how is he repaid for that heroic service? He is scammed out of nearly a hundred thousand dollars by this scumbag Shelton Thomas.”
Shelton Thomas was arrested and arraigned on Friday evening, bail was set at $750,000 and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 7, 2014 in courtroom 703 at the CJC.
The District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone who believes they are the victim, or have an elderly family member who maybe the victim of a scam to call the Philadelphia Police Department SVU at 215-685-3251, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging at 215-765-9040 or email the District Attorney’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.