The Bay County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home at 3681 Preserve Blvd on Panama City Beach on April 11, 2011 in response to a report of criminal mischief. The home was on the market and the Realtor had come for a last walk through with a buyer prior to a sale. Instead of a home ready to sell, they found a home with more than $9000 in damage. The walls of the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and most of the appliances had been spray painted black. The realtor stated that the owner of the home was involved in a civil dispute with an exboyfriend over the conditions of the upcoming sale. The last person known to be in the home was the ex-boyfriend Jomey B. Etheridge.
Investigators with the BCSO Criminal Investigations Division contacted the owner of the home Cynthia McDaniel. She gave the investigator a copy of an email she sent Etheridge asking him why he had damaged the home. Etheridge had responded with an emailed apology. Contact was made with Etheridge who stated to investigators “I ain’t gonna lie” and admitted to spray painting the inside of the home. Information was developed that Etheridge had paid cash for the $400,000 home and then signed the home over to McDaniel. McDaniel in turn put the house up for sale, promising to share the profits with Etheridge. Etheridge was not satisfied with the terms of the sale.
Etheridge was arrested and taken to the Bay County Jail on a charge of Criminal Mischief more than $1000, a felony.
Further investigation into Etheridge revealed he was the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Dept. of Labor in Gulfport, Mississippi, involving assets belonging to the 401K plan of a now bankrupt business called Struthers Industries. The lawsuit alleged that Etheridge and Struthers Industries allowed employee contributions to be used for purposes other than providing benefits resulting in losses of $310,084.54. A federal district judge ordered Etheridge liable for $303,084.61, the required restitution owed to the plan after deducting Etheridge’s unpaid contributions.
The investigation now involves the Internal Revenue Service as well as the Department of Labor.