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Deputy: Man arrested after swindling 89-year-old out of $20K

Posted at 1:40 PM, Dec 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-04 13:40:00-05

ST. TAVARES, Fla. (AP) - A man has been arrested after being accused of falsely identifying himself as a chaplain at the scene of a fatal accident and proceeding to swindle an 89-year-old man out of more than $20,000.

Bill Thomas was involved in a fatal Leesburg accident with a pedestrian in June when he said 50-year-old Cleveland Brantley approached him, claiming to be a chaplain. Thomas says Brantley offered to help with securing legal representation and funeral expenses for the pedestrian if he gave him the money.

Thomas says no lawyer ever showed up and the man did nothing except cash his checks.

Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Fred Jones tells local media Brantley was arrested Tuesday on charges of grand theft and cheating the common law. It isn't clear if he has an attorney.