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Lecanto man faces fraud charge

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By Chris Van Ormer

A Lecanto man was alleged to have used his employer’s credit card to offer strangers a gasoline price discount, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrested Darryl Wayne Jarvis, 50, of West Woodland Ridge Drive, Lecanto, at 11:49 a.m. Friday on a felony charge of scheme to defraud for less than $20,000.

According to a deputy’s report, Jarvis’ employer, a Homosassa-based concrete contractor, contacted the CCSO after learning that someone wearing company-issued clothing had been seen Nov. 30 at a gas station at the intersection of County Road 491 and State Road 44 soliciting motorists to use the credit card to fill their tanks in exchange for half the value in cash for payment. 

The employer checked his fleet fuel account for the credit card and found about 29 unauthorized fuel purchases had been transacted between Nov. 27 and Nov. 30. The card had been assigned to a diesel-engine vehicle, but all the unauthorized purchases were for gasoline. 

According to the employer’s information to deputies, the credit card had been assigned to Jarvis, who had been employed by the company for eight months and had sole use of the vehicle to which the credit card was assigned. The employer also stated Jarvis had last reported for work on Nov. 21, at which time Jarvis said he had to leave for a family member’s funeral services out of state.

However, when the employer reviewed company video surveillance tapes, he observed Jarvis on Nov. 24 entering the business’s locked compound and removing a concrete saw. 

Jarvis had been charged with theft of the saw, but denied using the credit card, according to the report.

Deputies stated they contacted a witness to the unauthorized credit card use on Dec. 12. The witness positively identified Jarvis from a photo array as the person who attempted to use the credit card for a sale of gasoline on Nov. 30.

According to the report, a deputy contacted Jarvis on Dec. 28 at the Citrus County Detention Facility, where he was incarcerated on other charges. A deputy said Jarvis was read the Miranda warning and Jarvis admitted taking the saw, but denied using the credit card even after being advised he had been identified using the card by a witness.

His bond was set at $2,000.

Chronicle reporter Chris Van Ormer can be reached at cvanormer@chronicleonline.com or 352-564-2916.