YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Mahoning County grand jury has indicted seven people who are accused of scheming to burn down buildings and collect the insurance money.
They are also accused of faking burglaries. In all, the group is accused of fraudulently collecting more than $1 million.
The indictment includes charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity in Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties from 2011 to 2017.
The crimes alleged include:
- Burning several buildings owned by group members
- Defrauding insurers, including Allstate Insurance, Farmers Insurance and Nationwide Insurance
- Changing one-dollar bills into twenties, fifties and one hundreds
- Hiding from the Social Security Administration a mineral-rights windfall so that more than $30,000 in benefits could be collected
- Burglarizing a home intending to destroy evidence about the group’s crimes
Tricia Floyd, aka Patricia Floyd, 69, of Youngstown, is accused of being the ring leader.
The others indicted are:
- Kyrene Rodriquez, aka Kyrene Moirai Rinard Floyd, 36, of Youngstown
- Heather Marie Kellar, formerly known as James Kellar, 48, of Niles
- Theodore Edward Dozier Wynn, aka Ted Wynn, 29, of Youngstown
- Juan Rodriguez, aka Johnny Rodriguez, 32, of Youngstown
- Christopher J. Gibboney, 29, of Girard
- Jessica Gonzalez, 51, of Youngstown
“This band of criminals will now have to answer for their illicit and fraudulent activities that have been brought to light by this indictment,” Ohio Attorney General David Yost said. “I commend the work of the investigators and prosecutors who have unwound their complex schemes in the pursuit of justice.”
It was a 2016 fire on Atkinson Avenue where investigators began piecing together the enterprise. Eventually, they were able to connect another fire just up the street and one in Lordstown.
Prosecutors Office say Floyd, along with her daughter, son-in-law and several others plotted together to set fire to Floyd’s own home, getting more than $260,000 from the insurance company.
At the time, Floyd was charged with animal cruelty after horses were found on her farm that had been badly mistreated, but months earlier, prosecutors say the “enterprise” had burned the daughter’s home, eventually receiving more than $336,000.
Prosecutors also claim a house on Carson-Salt Springs Road, belonging to suspect Heather Keller, was torched not once but twice in 2014, bringing another $282,000 settlement.
Authorities also charged Floyd with defrauding the Social Security Administration for SSI benefits while failing to disclose nearly $300,000 she received as part of an oil and gas drilling contract on her property.
At this point, Floyd and the other half-dozen suspects are all charged with state racketeering counts. Those now in custody are expected in court Wednesday morning.
The case was investigated by the Youngstown Police Department, Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Fire Marshal, U.S Postal Inspection Service, Secret Service and Social Security Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Mahoning County Prosecutor and the Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Section.
“I appreciate the cooperation of the various local, state and federal agencies during the investigation of this matter,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains. “Every time a building was torched, lives were jeopardized, and this indictment demonstrates that all of us will take action to see those who commit such acts will face the consequence.”
The indictment says the group was responsible for setting a fire Feb. 4, 2016, at a 2061 Atkinson Road in Youngstown; an Aug. 19, 2015 fire at a 2036 Atkinson Road home; and a Dec. 10, 2012 fire at a 2328 Carson Salt Springs Road home in Lordstown and a fire at the same address on Jan. 23, 2014.
The burglary is alleged to have taken place in Ashtabula County, according to the indictment.
Editor’s note: This story previously released the wrong mugshot for Heather (James) Kellar. That mugshot, of a different person by the same name, has been removed. We’re sorry for the mistake.