Gainesville Police arrested a Georgia man Friday for going to local businesses and selling nonexistent ad space.
Gregory Steve Greenwood, 65, told managers at The Brass Tap, Blaze Pizza, Burrito Famous, The WingHouse Bar and Grill, Pho Hanoi, World of Beer and Miller’s Ale House on March 21 through March 30 that he was selling advertising space for the local Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Inn, according to an arrest report. He said the ads would be passed out to hotel guests with their room key, and the managers agreed to pay him $180 each, totalling $1,260.
Greenwood gave the managers a fake contract, police said. He also passed out business cards under the fake name Chuck Brooks and signed the contracts with that name.
When police found Greenwood at Bento Cafe, located at 3841 SW Archer Road, on Friday, he told them he was selling ad space for the hotels but hadn’t had any contact with the hotels.
He admitted he took money from the businesses and knew no ads would be placed, according to the report.
Police found 16 other contracts from businesses in Ocala, Lake City and Live Oak.
Greenwood was arrested on charges of grand theft and scheming to defraud and obtain property. Authorities took him to the Alachua County Jail, where he remains as of press time in lieu of a $40,000 bond.
Contact Meryl Kornfield at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @MerylKornfield