Salisbury man pleads guilty to stealing more than $1.8 million from Shore Appliance Connection
BALTIMORE, Md. – A Salisbury man pleaded guilty on Friday to a wire fraud conspiracy and to aggravated identity theft in connection to the theft of more than $1.8 million from the business where he worked.
47-year-old Duane Larmore was indicted in August 2021 and worked at Shore Appliance Connection. According to his plea agreement, from mid-September 2016 through around March 2020, Larmore conspired with others to steal more than $1.8 million from Shore Appliance Connection. While working there, Larmore’s duties included maintaining the books and records for the company.
Larmore and his co-conspirators stole more than $1 million from the business to use for their own purposes, including to make investments and pay business expenses for the co-conspirator’s business, without the knowledge and consent of the business owners. To conceal how much money had been taken from Shore Appliance Connection and to obtain cash, Larmore used the identities of the owners to enter into factoring contracts, which is a means by which businesses can quickly obtain cash by leveraging accounts receivable. As outlined in the plea agreement, the factoring contracts purportedly between Shore Appliance and various factoring companies, provided cash deposits to Shore Appliance’s bank accounts but encumbered the accounts receivable of Shore Appliance and required payments and interest of more than $725,000. Additionally, Larmore used his position of trust with Shore Appliance and signature authority over its bank accounts to draw on Shore Appliance’s lines of credit with two separate financial institutions to obtain another $200,000 in cash to conceal his use of the company’s funds.
Larmore used his own email address and cell phone number with factors but claimed both belonged to one of the owners. He also reportedly provided the factors with details of the owners’ identities, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and Maryland drivers’ licenses without their permission. The signatures of the owners were forged, and the fraudulent signatures were witnessed or notarized by the co-conspirator, and Larmore and a female employee of his co-conspirator posed as the owners in phone conversations. When the co-conspirator’s business was having financial difficulties, Larmore provided funds from Shore Appliance for his co-conspirator’s companies.
In total, Larmore paid $739,295.28 of Shore Appliance’s funds without the officers and owners’ knowledge or consent to invest in fraudulent schemes that never paid any money back. He also reportedly caused an additional loss of $171,548.67 by transferring funds to his co-conspirator or co-conspirator’s companies. Lamore caused Shore Appliance to lose an additional $731,250.07 in fees and other payments to factors and factoring brokers. Additionally, he caused Shore Appliance to draw on its bank lines of credit and pay extra interest to those banks in the amount of $208,395.
The factoring arrangements and advances on Shore Appliance’s lines of credit in total caused Shore Appliance to lose $939,645 in actual funds, however, as of March 2020 the business still owed the factors almost $270,000. For all of Larmore’s conduct, actual cash losses to Shore Appliance totaled $1,850,488.94 and intended losses totaled at $2,137,674.74.
As part of his plea agreement, Larmore will be required to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is stipulated to be $1,850,488.94. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud conspiracy and a mandatory sentence of two years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentenced imposed, for aggravated identity theft.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 29, 2022.