I worked for Shelby Conrad Perkins when he was known as "Shelby Romano." In 1997, "Romano" defrauded Rudy Gamble out of control of his company,
Texas Gamble Corporation. Hired in April, 1998, I was to handle contracts and negotiations on projects that several subsidiary corporations were
putting together in an attempt to create legitimate businesses. During my employment, Perkins/Romano embarked on a course of scams that ranged the
world and involved chartered limos, 737s, and the ownership of an exclusive Padre Island condo and a private yacht, the "Paine Killer."
(This article is based on personal knowledge and original Perkins documents, including forged identification, stock certificates, Letters of Credit
and other credentials. They were recovered by a former associate and I (from a case in the trunk of the white Cadillac Shelby had obtained title to in
one of the cons described in this article) following Perkins' blown cover and arrest on the way to his stolen yacht in Port Aransas, Texas. I have
copies as well as originals in my possession, including the original vehicle title assigned to "Shelby DePietro," one of Perkins' many aliases.).
Court records reveal that Shelby Conrad Perkins, Jr. has gotten away with millions of dollars from scams and frauds across the country. Although he
was jailed in 1998 for violation of probation, he continued and continues to conduct "business" and defraud innocent people of thousands, if not
millions of dollars to this day.
Public records reveal that Perkins began his life of crime with an attempt to defraud a Texas bank and real estate investors in the 80's. After a
brief stint in a federal prison camp, he was released and resumed the nefarious career path that had up to that point, paid him very well.
According to court records, using aliases and forged credentials, Perkins descended upon Arizona with elaborate get rich quick and loan brokerage
schemes that netted him title to real estate, luxury yachts, and untold amounts of cash. Despite being caught and convicted, Perkins received only a
slap on the wrist from Arizona authorities and promptly skipped out to the East Coast to continue his frauds.
He and his wife, the former Marty Most, moved to Ohio, and then began a progression down the coast into Florida and the South. Perkins adopted the
names of Charles Colapietro, Shelby DePietro, Shelby Martino, Charles Pederson, Shelby Chase, Charles Capilano and Shelby Romano, among others;
forming or taking control of dozens of legitimate as well as phony front companies to add legitimacy to his credentials, most of which were stolen,
forged, fraudulent or a combination of these.
In operations in Ohio, the Carolinas, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, Perkins set up bank accounts, CDs and lines of credit that
to this day may contain stolen funds or from which they were transferred to offshore accounts or to those of his cronies. Millions of dollars are
unaccounted for. His schemes stretched across the U.S., into Canada, the U.K., Australia and Europe; even to China and the Middle East.
In 1997, Shelby DePietro became "Shelby Romano" and arrived in Texas with big plans. He and his wife Marty had left North Carolina and the latest
group of victims behind - left them wondering how they could have been so easily duped and fooled, reluctantly realizing they had seen the last of
millions of dollars of life's savings and inheritances. Shelby and Marty had taken their money, faith, confidence and the Company Cadillac.
In the coming year, Romano would form, or bluff his way into, over a dozen new companies and "partnerships." Between November 1997 and August 1998,
he bullied his way into the leadership of retired plumber and investor Rudy Gamble's Texas Gamble Company, Inc. with nothing more than brashness,
bravura and some well-doctored and forged documents. While passing himself off as a multimillionaire venture-capitalist, Shelby Romano kept his
identity, and the fact that he was a fugitive on the run, as deeply buried as his conscience. The only "venture" he had ever "capitalized" to this
point had been his own.
Romano used this innocent outpost, a fourteen-year-old construction company, as the foundation for new "fraudulent schemes, deceit and contrivances"
(as described in his Arizona indictments) that they bordered on the preposterous. During his stint at the helm, Romano used Texas Gamble's good
credit and reputation to set up adventures involving chartered airliners to New York and elsewhere, limos and Cadillacs, well-known entertainers (he
had bragged that he was going to produce a Jerry Lee Lewis concert in Tiananmen Square, among other things), businessmen, and investors from five
continents and across North |America.
His "shoot for the moon "ruses included "stolen" gold shipments, freighters of palm oil and petroleum; land, cattle and fish from around the
world. By the time of his arrest in August, on the run to the "Paine Killer" yacht, he had controlled and spent at least another two million
dollars. They gave up trying to count it all in 1999.
Even after his apprehension in Texas in 1998, Perkins continued his scams from the Maricopa County Jail. According to the local press, when reinstated
to probation in 2000, he immediately set up shop in Phoenix with an old associate, Karl Cambell Martin and began where he left off.
Arrested again in 2000, when his scams once again fell through, Perkins and his wife continued to try to lure new victims using some of his favorite
ruses, including the formation of Nevada Corporations and the appointment of investors as officers or directors. Some of these records are still
available on the Secretary of State's web site. Even as recently as last year he and Marty continued to find new avenues for fraud. It seems as if
the government (Deny Ignorance!) has unwittingly been one of Perkins's best friends in crime.
Many legitimate companies and millions in investments, up-front payments and property have been hijacked by Perkins and his cohorts. As of this day,
no one has yet seen fit to examine the numerous accounts and records that trace his stolen assets and deposits.
At once financially astute and yet often ridiculously inept, Perkins has nevertheless taken in vast and unaccounted sums of cash, stock and property
and none of the authorities seem to care!