Elbert Shawn Rice: The Strange, Twisted Saga of a Failed Bird Scammer

Categories: Whatever

shawnmichael.jpg
Facebook screenshot.
Houston, we have a d-bag. (Shawn Rice, above; Michael Acosta, seated).
On June 23, Sharon Wells-Markland, who runs an exotic bird sanctuary in Montgomery County, found an uplifting e-mail in her inbox: A man contacted her about a lost macaw that Wells and three other women had rescued earlier that month.

The man was referred to Wells-Markland after spotting a picture of the bird on the Houston SPCA's found animals site. He identified himself as Shawn Rice, and he said the bird -- "Lucy" -- belonged to his mother, who was in Kentucky tending to her recently deceased mother's estate. He claimed his parents' home in Spring had been broken into, and that's how the bird got out. He said he wanted to pick up the bird, which is only worth about $500, according to one of the bird experts who got caught up in these events.

Wells-Markland had no way of knowing at the time that the man was a fugitive from Kentucky who would ultimately threaten to sue her and call the cops on her. Once Hair Balls got involved, Rice threatened to call the cops on us. He claimed to belong to a prominent, influential Houston family. He claimed to have a mutual friend who knew an executive with our parent company. The dude, it turned out, was straight-up weird. A bunch of people recently had to endure his incessant bullshit, and we would like you to do the same.


Shawn Rice is really 39-year-old Elbert Shawn Rice, who has an outstanding warrant from Perry County, Kentucky, on six counts of theft by deception. According to the indictment, he stole more than $3,000 of a man's Social Security disability payments. More on that later.

At this point, you might ask, "But Hair Balls, why should I care about a dude who tried to steal a bird?"

Fair question. Our answer is this: Although this man has an open warrant, it does not appear authorities in Kentucky want to deal with it. It's a nonviolent crime with a relatively low dollar amount, and it only involves one alleged victim. We asked officials at the Perry County Commonwealth Attorney's Office for information about Rice's charges and got nowhere. Messages left for the lead detective on that case were not returned, and the spokesman for that division of the Kentucky State Police wasn't interested in helping us. The KSP's lead communication officer told us that since the case was still open, we probably wouldn't be able to get much info, but he did tell us how to request a portion of it. (We're not sure how Rice's case can still be "open" in Kentucky -- after all, at no point did any law enforcement official ask us for Rice's number or address so they could ask local authorities to arrest him. Our messages to Detective Randy Combs, the Kentucky State Police official who testified before the grand jury in Rice's case, went unanswered. As long as the case remains open, authorities do not have to disclose details of the crime he's charged with.)

And it's not as if Rice was never on Houston authorities' radar: He was arrested in Houston in 2009 and pleaded guilty to theft of check after bailing on a cab driver. It's not clear if Houston police ran a warrant check and contacted Kentucky authorities, but the result was that, after three days in jail, Rice went on his merry way.

He is Houston's problem now. So that's why we'd like to get this on the record.

Through the Magnolia Exotic Birds Sanctuary, Wells is trying to save birds' lives. She's in the process of getting her 501(c)(3) and runs a bird-food business that supports the sanctuary.

When Rice contacted Wells about "Lucy" the macaw, he used an e-mail address with the prefix "natl.disablility," which is a misspelled version of a company Rice told us he operates, called National Disability Advocates. He told us he helps people get their benefits and insisted that one does not need to be an attorney to do such work.

He also used an e-mail address associated with the name "Sharlene Rice," who was identified as Rice's mother.

But Rice's mother, who spells her first name "Sharleen," told us the following: "He is a compulsive liar" and "He's a good scam artist." She told us that, even though she has been a victim of his schemes, "I love him, but I don't love and condone what he's doing." (On the other hand, Rice apparently believes his mother is a "sick demented person who needs help," according to a message from Rice that Sharleen shared with us.)

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11 comments
Carol Wells
Carol Wells

You'd think he'd lay low, but Shawn appears to be commenting as 4 or 5 other people on the Hair Balls blog. What a piece of work. Kentucky State Police, please do your job and get this jackass out of Texas.

Treelover
Treelover

Also I googled this reporter and looks like the DEA office was looking at him for buying online pain killers but then he wrote a story saying he was doing it to prove how easy it was to buy online medication. Yea right, good way to try and get out of pill head. Lol

WildcatUK4u
WildcatUK4u

Craig Malisow may not be Craig Malisow. HAHAH...If you look at his facebook picture it portrays a young decent looking young man. When you hear his voice its a different story. He sounds old and creepy.

Treelover
Treelover

YAWN!!! This story is the lamest article I have ever read. Really?? What's it even about?? Sounds to me like the man has personal issues with Mr. Rice. Looks like to me the only person harassing anyone is the reporter himself!! He started contacting all of Mr. Rice's family making threats like a crazy man! Shawn Rice is a good person. I mean if I was the reporter I think I would do a little more research on the only person talking bad about Mr. Rice which would be his mother. Why didn't you do a back ground on her, she has multiple fraud charges for stealing government benefits.. And this person is your reliable source?? You are one heck of a reporter! NOT!! Lol.. She is the only person that the family has disowned that's why she hasn't spoken with anyone. Your article is pathetic! Have you ever thought maybe the reason no one would talk to you is that the matter in perry county had been resolved?? Shawn Rice would spend his own money to help people get their disability, he cared for these people. You get one person that jumped and got charges because he thought he lost some money when in reality no one took anything from him. Shawn wouldn't do something this stupid however I can see a certain someone doing it to try and get him in trouble. Reporter if this is all you got I would hang up writing if I was you, because your never going to go anywhere with this nonsense. Lol

WildcatUK4u
WildcatUK4u

Shawn Rice is my cousin and a damn good one at that. I do not believe he had anything to do with this bird. The criminal charges are pending with hopes of a dismissal. He never took any money from this guy and in fact returned money that was over paid.

This reporter spoke to the 2 of the best people possible if he wanted to make my cousin look bad. Sharlene and her daughter Patience Thacker tell one side of the story. They have caused the family nothing but problems over the years. Sharlene didn't mention the 24 plus Felony charges against her for stealing a clients benefit card and using it. That's right. Look it up. She was charged by the Kentucky Attorney General for this and it was Shawn that stuck right buy her side for support. She has lied about being pregnant with another mans baby and claims she lost it. Contact Arlene Anderson or any of the Pitts of Powell County and they can give you the scoop on Sharlene. You can also call Shaby Chick in Powell County and speak with Shirley and find out what kind of person Sharlene really is.. I wish this reporter would have called me.

Rogerdale1
Rogerdale1

The reporter called me and left me several messages, saying he was concerned that someone was pretending to be Shawn. He was very threatening when I would not give him personal information. He kept saying that unless I cooperated he would use my name is the story and that it would look bad on our family.  I finally had to block his number he was calling non stop even after repeated requests not to.

daisygurl333
daisygurl333

My name is Melissa Rice and I am Shawn Rices sister. I have never been contacted about this crazy story portraying my brother as some horrible person. Yes our family was contacted by an aggressive reporter named Craig Malisow who actually was very deceptive about the reason he was contacting family. I have 4 children that love their uncle more than anything not to mention the vast amount of love from our entire family with an exception of Sharlene Rice and Patience Thacker regarding these charges. My brother Shawn is a kind honest loving person who would give you the shirt off his back. That's the reason he is dealing with these accusations in Perry County. Mr. Stidham tried for years to get his disability and was unsuccessfull until he hired my brother who has successfully obtained benefits for many many clients as an Advocate. Stidham got his money his check was never cashed or stolen. The issue here is that Stidham had sent money to my brother on his account for child support. There was a possibility this money was not due to child support and Stidham would be due a refund. When my brother moved this guy panicked he thought his money was stolen. What I find even more interesting is that it's not mentioned at all that Stidham was sent a certified cashiers check for his refund. This reporter knows that a great deal of what he wrote is a lie. This story changes nothing. Our entire family with exception too two people love and have rallied behind my brother. We know the truth. I'm sure this will only make my brother stronger he will be able to rise above this and Houston will see he's a very kind, generous man that only try's to help those in need. Not sure what the personal attack Mr. Malisow has against my brother. I'm shocked he got the ok to print such a outlandish story. I know this story was very long winded and boring.

Freeman
Freeman

The reporter goes off topic. So what is he reporting? A Bird story or some alleged criminal activity of this guy. Sounds to me like a personal issue with this Rice guy.

Carol Wells
Carol Wells

Excellent work by Craig Malisow. And that epic photo.

Trelover
Trelover

Why would he need to lay low? In fact Carol now's the time for him to stand up to ignorant people like you for making such accusations when we have confirmed he had no involvement in this bird matter. It looks like I have posted at least twice and I am his cousin, um his sister Melissa posted a comment OH AND BTW you're narcotic buying reporter verified that this was indeed his sister. Wait I see another post from yet another family member hmmm none from Shawn. People like you make me sick... It appears Mr. Malisow has a habit of writing false things about people according to Mark Bennett and a story Malisow diid on a Shawn Roberts. Whats his craze for guys named Shawn??? You take half the truth and twist it to make a person look bad. I know your up in your older years and have much time on your hands but .....get a life. 

Treelover
Treelover

This Craig Malisow needs to stop harassing family members and get a real story. This is a joke!!! As so is he!

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