Larry Tuttle, 59, was arrested Wednesday and charged with fraudulent use of personal identification information amounting to $5,000 or more, fraudulent use of a credit card more than $100 and grand theft, records show.
Tuttle spent nearly $10,000, which included a cruise to Mexico, at the expense of Jason Derrico by opening three credit cards in Derrico’s name, Holly Hill police said.
Police were alerted to the possible fraud in July, and when they met with Tuttle Aug. 25 he claimed he’d been given permission to apply for the three credit cards in Derrico’s name, according to the affidavit.
The two men met at an AA meeting in 2013 and Tuttle, who claimed he’d been sober 30 years, told Derrico, 36, he wanted to be his sponsor, according to a charging affidavit.
Derrico said he initially enjoyed Tuttle’s company, but he began to grow uncomfortable when Tuttle wanted Derrico to pull away from his blindness support group and made inquiries about Derrico’s finances, according to the affidavit. Derrico told police Tuttle would sometimes yell at him if he did not disclose certain information.
About a year ago, Tuttle told Derrico his trailer had burned down, so Derrico allowed Tuttle to stay the night, during which Tuttle went through Derrico’s financial paperwork and said he could take better care of those matters, according to the affidavit. Derrico told police the two of them would make trips around the county, and once to Fort Lauderdale, where Tuttle would buy gas and make other purchases with what Derrico thought was Tuttle’s own money.
Derrico said he did remember Tuttle asking him to make several purchases, which made Derrico feel like he was being taken advantage of, so he cut contact with Tuttle in January, according to the affidavit. In July, Derrico began getting calls from a financial institution about owing money on a credit card that listed Tuttle as an authorized user.
Derrico closed the accounts, which Tuttle tried to reopen, according to the affidavit. Police said Tuttle made some payments on the accounts to keep them open as long as possible.
Tuttle was being held Friday at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $22,500 bail.