By Drew Harwell | Times Staff Writer
Published : January 28, 2010
Accused of firing a shotgun at motorists and leading a worldwide aircraft parts scam, Todd Christopher Naylor was booked into jail for two months before posting bail.
But that didn’t stop him from continuing his fraudulent business once he was released, buyers said Wednesday, accusing Naylor of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from clients in the weeks leading up to his trial.
Naylor, 33, a felon whose father is in prison in a similar scam, was accused in July of going on a shotgun rampage in a Ford F-150 through the streets of Oldsmar.
The next day, police tacked on four counts of grand theft, saying he took deposits of up to $40,000 from buyers in Florida, Texas, the United Kingdom and South Africa without shipping the parts he had promised.
In October, a month after posting $105,500 in bail, Naylor reinstated one of his businesses, Aviation International Air Supply, using a nonexistent property address on Hercules Avenue.
That business, buyers said, continues to post advertisements in online marketplaces. A helicopterparts.com listing of $28,000 helicopter rotor blades, posted last month, gives Naylor’s phone number. Jason Strauss, 35, the man still in jail on charges he drove the truck during the rampage, is listed as the contact.
But according to new complaints given to Clearwater police within the past two weeks, those parts never ship. Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said reports from buyers in Utah and Tennessee detail scams similar to Naylor’s current charges. Sgt. Dirk Curls confirmed there were “some new active investigations ongoing,” but would not give details.
Scot Paterson of Salt Lake City responded to the company’s ads for hard-to-get rotor blades for a Bell 206-L3 helicopter last year. Paterson said Naylor, using the name “Chris Patrickson,” promised he would repair and send the used parts after Paterson relayed the money.
But after sending $23,000 in cashiers’ checks and wired funds, Paterson has yet to receive anything but excuses. He said he reported the problem to Clearwater police.
“Short of not receiving the paperwork up front, everything he said and did was SOP (standard operating procedure) for the industry,” Paterson said in an interview.
Naylor’s attorney, Roger Futerman, said that he had not heard of any new complaints and that Naylor was still awaiting his pretrial hearing next month. Two messages left at Naylor’s listed business phone were not answered Wednesday.
In 2001, Naylor and his father, Richard Patrick Naylor, were charged in a $5.5 million scam in the sale of refurbished helicopters that were either defective or never shipped. Richard Naylor, who investigators said torched his Calumet Street inventory to cover his tracks, is incarcerated at the River Junction Work Camp in Chattahoochee, scheduled for release in 2018.
Todd Naylor’s conspiracy and fraud charges in that case were dropped.
In 2002, a federal district court ordered Dynamic Helicopters Inc. — composed of Todd Naylor, his father and a partner — to pay $100,000. The next year, an Idaho court ruled Naylor’s business of Helicopter Support Inc. would need to pay $57,000.
Drew Harwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4170.