LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – The curtain has come down on a Largo “piano man.”
Cops tell News Channel 8 Randy Sheets sold 30 pianos belonging to 24 customers, but pocketed the proceeds.
This “piano man” was supposed to sell the pianos on consignment. He sold them, but cops say he took off with more than $250,000.
Lisa Williams asked Randy Sheets to sell her Schimel baby grand piano.
It’s even signed by the piano maker. That was last fall.
Months later, she found out it sold.
“He didn’t say, he never said anything about it to me or as far as I know, to anyone,” said Williams.
Williams is one of 24 victims who’ve come forward to say they’ve been ripped off by Sheets, owner of Randy’s Pianos in Largo.
“I think he was extremely unethical and apparently he knew that he was in financial trouble and had already been sued by somebody else,” said Williams.
Williams’ story is very familiar to Largo Detective Lara Young. She’s spent six months unraveling Sheets’ piano problems.
“All the victims are very upset and hurt that this is not just property, from what they say, it’s not like you pawn a TV. It’s something that’s been in their family a long time. Has sentimental value,” said Young.
Randy Sheets lives a Treasure Island duplex. After declaring bankruptcy in January, cops say he ran a piano business from it, storing the instruments in the garage.
Detectives believe he stole more than $253,000 from customers.
Where did all that cash go? Cops believe some of it went back into the business.
“Some what appears, were spent on personal items, houses, cars, vacations,” said Young.
Police say Randy Sheets made up all kinds of excuses when customers asked about their pianos and their money.
He told investigators he owed money to the IRS and things just got out of hand.
Sheets is charged with scheme to defraud, grand theft and theft from persons 65 years of age or older.
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