Raleigh, N.C. — An office supplies dealer has been charged with using bogus copier leases to scam area businesses and nonprofits.
Scott Arthur Waddell, 49, of 8012 Llewellyn Court in Raleigh, was charged with eight counts each of forgery and obtaining property by false pretense. He was being held Wednesday in the Wake County Jail under a $1.25 million bond.
Waddell ran two companies, Modern Office Solutions and PST Consultants, and sold copy machines and other office supplies to businesses for years.
"Scott came in a lot of times. He was a recognizable figure," said B.J. Stolz, general counsel to Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee's restaurants that bought supplies from Waddell for 10 years.
Apple Gold got a strange call from a Virginia bank in June, demanding payments on a leased copier, Stolz said. The company didn't have the copier the bank called about, he said.
"We had not heard of any lease. Our owner's signature and my signature had been put on this document, (and they were) not our signatures," he said.
YMCA officials in Raleigh got a similar call about nonexistent leased copiers about the same time, and police have been trying to unravel a web of forged leases and credit applications since then.
Police seized 14 copiers from a storage unit on Gresham Lake Road in north Raleigh during a June 20 search.
At least one other victim of the alleged scam, St. Raphael's Catholic Church, has been identified so far. Police said they expect more victims to come forward and more charges to be filed as the investigation continues.
Federal authorities also are investigating Waddell and his two companies for possible mail and wire fraud charges.
Those who knew Waddell said they still don't understand what happened.
"Scott was a good guy. He contributed when we did charitable events," Stolz said.