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On Monday, August 1, 2011 Detectives from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office were asked to assist the Painesville Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with an ongoing investigation regarding a theft offense.

Capt. Ronald Walters and Detective Donald Seamon found that James A. Haney Sr. of Willowick, Ohio passed away in November of 2010. The last will and testament of James Haney Sr. acknowledged that he had a son by the name of James A. Haney Jr. However, the will specifically made clear that Haney Jr. was to receive no benefits from the estate of Haney Sr.

Prior to the family being able to make official death notifications James Haney Jr. was able to contact various investment companies where Haney Sr. had invested money. Haney Jr. falsely reported that he was Haney Sr., and was thus able to liquidate approximately $273,502.73 from the various accounts held by his father. Haney Jr. was able to withdrawal the majority of this stolen money in cash. The investigators was able to secure an arrest warrant for Haney Jr. Efforts continued to locate both Haney Jr. and the stolen cash. Information received at the time was that the cash had been hidden in several locations.

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011 James Haney Jr. was located and arrested in North Carolina. He is awaiting extradition to Ohio at this time. Information learned recently is that Haney Jr. buried a portion of the money in North Carolina, a portion of the money was hidden in a residence in Wickliffe, OH, and that several items were purchased with the stolen money to include a boat and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Through the investigation it was learned that Justin Heikell assisted Haney Jr. with hiding the stolen money and property. Investigators learned that Heikell had possession of the boat and Harley Davidson, and that he had a portion of the stolen money hid in his residence. Investigators also learned that Heikell was going to North Carolina to dig up the buried cash and bring it back to his residence.

On Sunday, October 23, 2011 investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and FBI located Justin Heikell in Ohio returning from North Carolina. Heikell ultimately admitted to assisting Haney Jr. Investigators were able to recover $71,000.00 from Heikell’s car, $25,400.00 from his residence, as well as secure property purchased with the stolen money to include a boat and a 2009 Harley Davidson. Heikell was arrested and booked into the Lake County Jail for Grand Theft and Complicity.

At this time the investigation is ongoing.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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