Crime

How do you rack up a $10,000 Hampton Inn bill? Cops say this fraudster couple did it

Lee Roe and Ashley Bey Roe after their Saturday arrest.
Lee Roe and Ashley Bey Roe after their Saturday arrest. Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A couple with Alabama roots not only managed the seemingly Herculean feat of piling up a $10,155 bill at a Hampton Inn, but then skated on the bill, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.

First to the obvious question of where this Bama couple is today. As of Sunday afternoon, Lee Roe, 36, and Ashley Bey Roe, 34, sat in Monroe County Jail, each on one count of grand theft between $10,000 and $20,000. They were found Saturday at a home near mile marker 100.

Now, to the even more obvious question of how anybody can rack up such a grand bill — or, we should say, 10 grand bill — at Hilton’s middleweight chain that caters to budget-conscious travelers with free breakfasts and plastic utensils.

Let’s start with the Hampton Inn in Key Largo isn’t priced like the Hampton Inns in, Huntsville, Alabama, or Fort Payne, Alabama, cities where Ashley Bey Roe and Lee Roe, respectively, come from. Those are $100 per night Hamptons. The Key Largo Hampton goes for more than $200 per night.

Still, this required a lot of leeway from hotel management.

The Hampton Inn’s manager told the investigating deputy that the Roes checked in as Hilton Honors Rewards Program members, allowing them to enter without handing over a credit card, just identification.

The Roes stayed from Oct. 20 through Nov. 3, piling up a $3,229.88 bill; then Nov. 3 through Nov. 10, rolling up $1,931.90; Nov. 10 through Nov. 17, totaling $1,921.64; after a break, back in Nov. 26 through Dec. 3, for another $1,767.36; then Dec. 4 through Dec. 11, totaling $1,304.31.

Somewhere in all these unpaid charges, the hotel got a credit card from the Roes, and the credit card issuer told the Hampton Inn the card had been reported stolen.

By this time, the Roes had left.

The manager got in touch with Ashley Bey Roe on Facebook Messenger. When the messages brought up the stolen credit card, the arrest report says, Ashley blamed a “David” through whom she said she made the reservation but didn’t know personally. She continued blaming “David” until she blocked the Hampton Inn manager on Facebook messenger.

So, the manager called Monroe County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 18.

Their arrest report says after being picked up, the Roes each talked with investigators.

Lee claimed he booked the hotel through someone he thought was a booking agent, a person he found out about from a coworker at Turkey Point nuclear power plant. He said he regularly used Walmart to send $400 to this person to pay for their hotel stay. It wasn’t until the last day, he claimed, that the Hampton Inn manager told Ashley the credit card on file had been reported stolen and he thought Ashley dealt with the problem.

But, the report says, when asked why he didn’t return MCSO’s detailed call about the investigation, Lee Roe could only look at the floor.

Ashley told a similar story and said after being apprised of the problem by the hotel manager, she contacted the “booking agent.” He said the issue was handled. When asked how they paid the booking agent, Ashley said they sent $400 to Walmart, but the booking agent said he had a hard time getting to Walmart. He asked them to buy pre paid credit cards for $400 at CVS and give him the numbers.

If the couple explained why they couldn’t just pay the credit card issuer or the hotel directly, it was not included in the report.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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