New arrest, new charges in Oden Music fraud case

New arrest, new charges in Oden Music fraud case
(Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC)
Jason Oden (Source: Oxford Police)
Jason Oden (Source: Oxford Police)
Daniel Oden (Source: Etowah County Detention Center)
Daniel Oden (Source: Etowah County Detention Center)

GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - New charges are filed in the ongoing fraud case against Oden Music in Gadsden.

Police have been investigating the 67-year-old company for months, and last week the investigation kicked into high gear with a search warrant taken out against the company's building on North 26th Street in a part of Gadsden, known as Alabama City.

On Wednesday, a third suspect the police had sought, 39-year-old Daniel Oden, was booked into the Etowah County Detention Center on one count each of theft by deception and theft 3rd.

The owner of the company, Jason Oden, also had new charges filed against him. Oxford police charged him with one count of theft first.

Oxford Police Investigations Captain Chip Owens tells WBRC that Oden picked up a grand piano in Oxford for repairs and never brought it back, even after the owner paid for the repairs.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade also confirms his agency has two more first-degree theft warrants waiting for Oden.

This comes after Jason and Paige Oden were arrested a week ago on counts of third-degree theft and theft by deception.

Multiple Oden Music customers have told WBRC of similar stories about the company and its employees picking up their pianos for repairs and never bringing them back or placing the pianos on consignment but never paying the owners. Margaret Webster, for instance, says she didn't see her piano for two years until a church in Walnut Grove acknowledged buying it.

Bill Dawson, of Fort Payne, came to Gadsden on Wednesday to file his own complaint. He says the Odens promised to rebuild his Wurlitzer grand piano and pick it up, but he never saw it again. Dawson said he's gotten the runaround and numerous excuses as to why he couldn't see the piano for two years.

Dawson, who is in his 80s, says when Jason Oden told him he couldn't go into the warehouse, where his piano likely would have been, Dawson became confrontational.

"I got upset at him, and I told him he was lower down than whale manure, which is at the bottom of the ocean," Dawson told WBRC. "And he told me that he had a gun in his pocket, and I couldn't go back to where the piano was probably stored."

Dawson arrived at the Gadsden Police patrol headquarters in East Gadsden with his wife Frances and a folder full of canceled checks and invoices. He said that after he had already paid more than $5,000, the Odens demanded another $1,500.

Gadsden Police Sgt. John Hallman says detectives have been so busy with the case, they don't have a current count on the number of people who have filed complaints against the business. Some have said on Facebook they were told there were as many as 40 other complaints being processed already when they went to the police.

Daniel Wayne Oden is being held on $70,000 bond in the Etowah County Detention Center. Bond was set at $15,000 for Jason Oden at the Oxford City Jail.

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