The Payne County District Attorney’s office filed new charges this week against a serial scam artist.
Loreal Stroud has a long criminal history of taking money and services in exchange for products she never delivers. Now she is charged with obtaining money or property by false pretense, and may face additional counts.
Daniel Lee Rackley-Hare first encountered Stroud in early May, when he says she offered to print take-out menus, signage and business cards for his restaurant, H&R Cattle Company Café. She charged Rackley the low price of free food and $120 plus tax for a large sign to replace one hanging along Highway 33, where the restaurant is located.
Rackley showed News 9 two small signs Stroud produced for the restaurant, and he says both have glaring errors compared to what he ordered. The business cards she printed for him are the wrong layout and display the wrong person’s name.
Rackley says, “You can’t just willy-nilly halfway do things and think that everybody is just going to be okay and then not produce what you’re supposed to produce.”
“That’s her scam,” says Krysten Riggs, owner of 33B Salon. “She gets free things in trade everywhere she goes and then doesn’t produce what she’s supposed to.”
Riggs says Stroud sold the 33B salon an advertisement in Rackley's new take-out menus, which were never printed. Riggs also paid for T-shirts that were supposed to be a custom design of a deer wearing a tiara. What she got were tank tops with the name of the salon above an off-centered silhouette of three women holding styling tools in suggestive poses.
“My 9-year-old daughter could have done better,” says Riggs.
Rackley and Riggs eventually discovered Stroud's long list of misdemeanor charges for fraud, showing she only takes a small amount before moving on to her next victim in the next town. They believe she produces some sort of work to protect herself in court.
Rackley says, “You would think somewhere in the Oklahoma statutes there would be something about after so many misdemeanors for that fraud, especially charity fraud, that they would start being felonies.”
Now the small business owners want others to be on alert.
“She needs to be stopped,” says Rackley. “If I can do anything to help one more business owner, because we work way too hard for what little profit we do keep for somebody to just come in and take it.”
Last week Stroud was arrested in Payne County on her warrants in Major County. She was transferred there this week, and bonded out of jail. While she is known to move from city to city, Stroud is scheduled to appear in court in both Major County and Payne County at the end of July.