TAMPA - A Land O’ Lakes pastor accused of committing identity theft and racking up thousands in debt with a church elder’s information turned himself in at a Hillsborough County jail Thursday afternoon.
According to Detective Gary Souto, Bruce Stutzman, the former senior pastor at New Hope Alliance Church, had a Pasco warrant for using the personal information a church elder to open up a credit card and charge $17,400.
Stutzman got an email from Fifth Third bank regarding the delinquent account back in June 2009, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Souto learned that the credit card account was opened in January of that year and Stutzman,40, allegedly used $3,400 in church funds to pay on the fraudulent account.
The card was used to pay personal utility bills, store purchases. Detectives say he also wrote convenience checks to withdraw thousands in cash advances.
Stutzman went to the Hillsborough County Jail and confessed to the crime on Thursday.
He has since bonded out. At this time, the church does not want to pursue charges regarding the theft of church funds.
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