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Deltona Man Arrested for Posing as Cancer Patient to Scam Nonprofits

Deltona, FL – A Deltona man has been arrested after Volusia County sheriff’s deputies uncovered a scheme in which he posed as a cancer patient to fraudulently obtain money from nonprofits across multiple states, Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced.

The investigation began when a nonprofit owner from the Tampa area contacted Volusia County deputies, reporting that her organization had been scammed. The nonprofit, which assists cancer patients with living expenses during treatment and recovery, had been deceived into providing financial aid to someone who did not actually need it.

The Deception

According to Sheriff Chitwood, 68-year-old Timothy Bartlett posed as “Sally Holmes,” a fictional individual purportedly out of work and undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Under this guise, Bartlett successfully received $5,000 in assistance from the Tampa-based organization.

“‘Her’ rent was $2,000 a month and she was in arrears,” Chitwood explained. “So the charity cut a check for $5,000 and they sent it to Timothy Bartlett, who’s our suspect in this case.”

The investigation revealed that Bartlett’s alleged fraudulent activities extended beyond Florida. Detectives identified four other nonprofits in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Wisconsin that may have fallen victim to Bartlett’s scheme. These organizations similarly provide living expenses to patients battling various forms of cancer.

Exploiting a Loophole

The arrest affidavit details how Bartlett exploited a referral loophole. Typically, referrals to these nonprofit organizations come through social workers, medical offices, or word of mouth from other recipients. Bartlett used this system to his advantage, deceiving well-meaning organizations that aim to support those in genuine need.

“This is the loophole the guy exploited,” said Chitwood.

Sheriff Chitwood expressed his disgust at Bartlett’s actions, noting the particularly egregious nature of exploiting charities dedicated to helping cancer patients.

“I have seen a lot of morally reprehensible scams in my career, but this has to be one of the worst,” Chitwood remarked.

Arrest and Charges

Bartlett was arrested on charges of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud. Sheriff Chitwood praised the swift action of both the nonprofit founder who reported the scam and the detectives who gathered the necessary evidence.

“I owe a sincere thank you to the founder of the nonprofit who reached out and to the detectives who got the evidence to put this scumbag in jail where he belongs,” Chitwood said.

The arrest has sent a strong message about the seriousness of defrauding charitable organizations and the commitment of law enforcement to protect vulnerable communities from such exploitation. The investigation remains ongoing as detectives work to identify any additional victims and ensure justice is served.

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Patrick Zarrelli

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