NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL – Volusia sheriff’s detectives have identified and charged an online scam artist who tricked an 80-year-old New Smyrna Beach-area woman into sending him $41,000. According to authorities, the victim came forward in January to report she was scammed. She told a deputy she got a phone call from a stranger claiming to be a computer expert in New York. The caller told her hackers had accessed her computer and were stealing her information.
The caller told the victim she needed to send him a check for $20,000, which she did. In a follow-up phone call from a female caller claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office, the victim was told to send a second check for $21,000. Both checks were made out to a Jeffery Sorgatz.
A detective assigned to the investigation tracked the checks to the accounts where they were deposited, which belonged to a Jeffrey Sorgatz, 59, in Las Vegas. Detective Adam Huffman obtained bank video, which showed the same suspect depositing each check.
Detective Huffman worked with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to positively identify Sorgatz and arrange for him to be interviewed by LVMPD. Later, detectives obtained a warrant for Sorgatz’s arrest for grand theft. Sorgatz was arrested Tuesday in Las Vegas and is in custody there with no bond pending extradition to Volusia County.
A search warrant executed at Sorgatz’s residence resulted in the recovery of a copy of one of the victim’s checks and its shipping label. On Wednesday, Detective Sergeant Julian Elmazi was able to seize two bank accounts belonging to Sorgatz with a total value of more than $48,000, and he contacted the victim to let her know she would be made whole again.