Craig man alleged victim in Internet scam
A Craig man was among three people who lost a combined $45,550 in an alleged Internet automobile purchase scam.
Shane McClure — a 24-year-old Durant, Okla., man accused of running the scam — remains at large.
While court records indicate a warrant for his arrest was signed Feb. 6, Oklahoma authorities Friday weren’t aware it existed.
McClure is still believed to be in the Durant area, said Greg Pollock, assistant chief with the Durant Police Department.
Pollock said attempts Friday to contact Durant were unsuccessful.
“Our patrol officers will be looking for him today,” he said today.
However, K.C. Hume, Moffat County Sheriff’s chief investigator, said the department has repeatedly notified Durant authorities about McClure’s arrest warrant since it was issued.
McClure, following a sheriff’s department investigation, was charged by the District Attorney’s office Feb. 11 with felony theft between $500 and $15,000 and felony computer crime to defraud.
A Craig man — who was part of an Aug. 9 auction on eBay Motors’ Web site — bid on a listed 1941 Willys Coupe, according to court documents.
He offered a final $12,200 for the car but didn’t win it.
Upon request by the local man, McClure allegedly agreed to build a 1941 Willys Coupe for $17,500, then mailed a contract to Craig asking for half of the money up front.
The agreement was mailed back to Oklahoma Sept. 3 along with the Craig man’s $8,500 cashier’s check.
The two kept in contact via email and telephone about the car’s production, but McClure stopped returning calls and messages after October.
McClure, according to court documents, from March 2002 is linked to six different telephone numbers, most of which have been disconnected in what investigators called an effort to avoid contact.
A Canadian man who also was part of the Aug. 9 online auction eventually contacted the alleged Craig scam victim.
He had talked to McClure Aug. 5 about building the same car — paying $26,500 with 50 percent down under the terms of a contract mailed to his house. The man mailed a $13,250 check to McClure, according to court documents.
A third Wyoming man also had signed a deal with McClure — trading in two cars, parts and some $4,500 cash for a 1941 Willys Coupe, which never arrived, court documents show.
All three lost $45,550 in cash, vehicle trades and parts.
“Shane has made claims to investigators and victims that he has no money, and hasn’t provided an adequate amount of evidence on how the $45,500 was spent toward any production of a 1941 Willys Coupe,” court documents state.
A conviction on either of the felony charges includes possible penalties between one and 16 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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