Coin dealer accused of defrauding customers of $220K

The man is accused of cheating customers out of thousands of dollars.

A coin dealer is accused of defrauding customers in Seminole of thousands of dollars, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

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, 8974 Seminole Blvd.

Detectives say Seth Lutz, 55, a coin dealer working at Paradise Coins and Collectibles, was accepting money from customers for gold and silver bullion coins. After customers pre-paid 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.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives identified 31 victims that Lutz stole money from over a five-year time period, with a total loss of approximately $220,000.

On Wednesday, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of Lutz on one count of Aggravated White Collar Crime and 37 counts of Grand Theft.. He was arrested Thursday in Tampa and will be handed over to Pinellas for prosecution.

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.

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