Florida man snatches 4 million pounds of citrus without paying, officials say

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FLORIDA – Perhaps he had an insatiable appetite for oranges. Or maybe he was just trying to squeeze a serious profit.

Whatever the reason, a Florida man allegedly stole 4 million pounds of citrus, the state department of agriculture said Friday. That’s more than $540,000 worth of produce.

Officials said Bradley D. Reiter, owner of Reiter Citrus Inc., entered into contracts with several grove companies and a resident to buy and remove citrus from their land — but he never paid for the fruit.

As it turned out, Reiter didn’t even have a license to deal citrus, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said.

He also entered a resident’s grove without permission and removed 180 boxes of citrus, the agriculture department said. Officials said Reiter Citrus Inc. gave the resident a check worth only half the actual value of the fruit.

Reiter was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail and faces several charges, including scheme to defraud, grand theft and dealing citrus without a license, the agriculture department said.

It was not immediately clear what happened to the 4 million pounds of fruit.

Google Map for coordinates 27.664827 by -81.515754.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.