A Hialeah man was arrested in Lee County after investigators say he rented construction equipment and then sold it to unsuspecting buyers.
Maximiliano Moises Fernandez, 29, faces several felony charges that include dealing in stolen property and grand theft.
The investigation began in early June after Lee County detectives with the agency’s new Construction Special Investigations unit were alerted to several cases of fraudulent rentals of heavy construction equipment in the county.
The investigation led to Fernandez, who they say was involved in the thefts of Skid Steers in Miami and Lee County.
Five fraudulent rentals were discovered at local businesses, and Fernandez was found to be using a fraudulent Texas ID to rent the heavy machinery, which he would then sell.
Fernandez was busted Thursday when detectives discovered another possible fraudulent transaction in which a man rented a Skid Steer while utilizing a fake ID. They found out where it would be delivered and watched Fernandez take delivery of the machinery. He began to remove the rental decal stickers identifying the owner of the equipment, they said.
Detectives took Fernandez into custody at the scene.
“Our deputies and detectives investigating this case stopped Fernandez from stealing approximately $70,000 in cash from victims, and nearly half a million dollars in equipment from businesses,” the sheriff’s office said.
Fernandez is in the Lee County Jail with bond set at $141,500. He faces 13 felony charges.