Economic Crimes Detectives Arrest Coin Dealer For Defrauding Customers
Author: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office - Friday August 25, 2017
Pinellas County Consumer Protection
Tampa Police Department
Seth Felipe Lutz (Arrested)
The suspect was arrested on Thursday, August 24, 2017.
The suspect was arrested in Hillsborough County.
In 2015, Pinellas County Consumer Protection and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office received complaints of failed business transactions from customers of Paradise Coins and Collectibles, located at 8974 Seminole Boulevard, in Seminole.
Detectives say 55-year-old Seth Lutz, a coin dealer working at Paradise Coins and Collectibles was accepting money from customers for gold and silver bullion coins. After customers pre-payed for the coins, Lutz sent partial shipments of merchandise to some victims while other victims received nothing in return.
Detectives say many of the victims lived out-of-state and were responding to Craigslist ads for coin sales. Other victims were previous customers or known to Lutz.
Pinellas County Consumer Protection worked to resolve these complaints as consumer–business related disputes. When the number of complaints increased and little or no reimbursement was made, Pinellas detectives assumed the investigation.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives identified (31) victims that Lutz stole money from over a five year time period, with an accumulative financial loss of approximately $220,000.
On August 23, 2017, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of Lutz.
On August 24, 2017, Lutz was arrested by Tampa Police officers at his residence located at 6720 Louis Avenue South, in Tampa.
Lutz was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail with no bond.
Lutz was charged with one count of Aggravated White Collar Crime and (37) counts of Grand Theft.
Lutz will be extradited to Pinellas County for the criminal charges.
If anyone has any information on this case or has become a victim they are asked to contact Detective Quentin Collamore at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at (727) 582-6200.
The investigation continues.