Calera small business owner helps bust scammer

By  | 

TISHOMINGO, Okla (KXII) -- We all know we're not going to get our money back, but she needs to be stopped," Kim Stepp said.

Local business owner Kim Stepp said Loreal Stroud scammed her (and several other local businesses) out of hundreds of dollars.

Stepp says Stroud came to her Calera store in June 2016 offering to make business cards and brochures.

"She presented me with some work that was less than quality, nothing that we had discussed had been made," Stepp said.

Stepp took Stroud to small claims court for the $700 she spent and won.

But Stroud quickly disappeared, Stepp has spent the past year tracking her down.

"The reason she keeps getting by with this is because people just say oh well I got took," Stepp said.

Stepp says she was shocked to find out Stroud had done the same thing to four Tishomingo business owners.

"The more that I started to talk to everybody else in town, we started to realize we'd all been taken for the same thing," Dairy Queen and Latte Da Coffee Shop Owner Krtistie Cannon said.

"The whole experience was horrible, she cussed me and sent me mean nasty emails," Closet Ministry Thrift Store manager Kim Jones said.

"You pay them expecting something in return and they then just kind of ditch you," Elizabeth's Antiques Owner Chisten Moore said.

Bryan County special investigator David Cathey says he's been warning people about Stroud for years.

"Part of her schemes is that she does try to return some type of a product, but it's usually not what the people have contracted for and a lot of times it causes those cases to be viewed as a civil dispute rather than a criminal one," Cathey said.

Cathey says victims need to file police reports listing the dollar amount lost.

Stepp says when Stroud tried to scam a friend in Kingston last week, they set her up.

She was arrested in Marshall County Tuesday on outstanding warrants.

Stroud is due back in court in Major County next month in a felony fraud case.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus