Deputies: Dentist used lost credit card to buy pizzas

6:42 AM, Mar 7, 2011   |    comments
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Polk County, Florida - Deputies in Polk County arrested a Michigan dentist on Credit Card Theft and Fraud Charges Saturday.

Deputies say 54-year-old Dr. Richard Ludwig of Okemos, Michigan, who claimed to be worth between 3 and 4 million dollars, used a credit card he found in a Publix parking lot to buy two large pizzas with extra olives.

Investigators say the victim, a 14-year Naval veteran and college student, accidentally dropped his credit card Saturday evening.  When he called the credit card company to cancel the card, he was told a purchase had just been made at the Mia Pizza Pasta Kitchen.  The restaurant is located in the same plaza as the Publix.  The victim called the Sheriff's Office and deputies made contact with Dr. Ludwig while he waited for his pizza.

Deputies say Dr. Ludwig admitted to finding the credit card and using it.  Dr. Ludwig had $250 in his wallet at the time of his arrest, according to investigators.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood says, "Dr. Ludwig told deputies he is a successful dentist in the East Lansing, Michigan area, a University of Michigan dental school graduate, with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.  Deputies asked Dr. Ludwig if he was having financial problems which would cause him to act in such a way.  Dr. Ludwig laughed and said, 'Absolutely not.'"

"I've been in law enforcement for a long time, but this one takes the cake," said Sheriff Grady Judd.  "This is the epitome of arrogance.  Dr. Ludwig appears to be an intelligent, successful person who could have bought pizza for everyone in Davenport, but instead he risked his career to steal from a military veteran."

Mitcheal Pearl, 10 News

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