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.
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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.