A local coin dealer is being charged with a raft of grand theft counts as police say he defrauded over two dozen customers out of a combined total of almost a quarter million dollars.
Pinellas County investigators allege the 55-year-old Seth Felipe Lutz stole from at least 31 customers since 2015 at his storefront in Seminole. The investigation was launched after the Pinellas County Consumer Protection and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office began to receive complaints that Lutz was shipping partial orders on pre-paid gold and silver bullion coin orders. They say others complained that they received no shipments from Lutz at all.
Investigators say that the alleged victims were either responding to ads online or were previous customers at Lutz’s storefront. Initially the investigators handled the matter as consumer complaints, but they say they shifted into a criminal investigation upon realizing that the complaints increased with little to no reimbursements occurring. Lutz is accused of stealing $220,000 over the period of the investigation.
The Tampa resident was arrested at his home on August 24 by TPD officers and booked into Hillsborough County Jail on a single count of aggravated white-collar crime and 37 counts of grand theft. He was subsequently transferred to Pinellas County Jail where he is being held in lieu of a $430,000 bond.