DeBARY, Fla. - A 52-year-old Florida man used a stolen identity to pay for $40,000 worth of dental work and to buy a $10,000 puppy, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said Timothy Powell told them he was recruited by thieves who encouraged him to have his teeth extracted and replaced with dental implants so he would look better for future fraudulent transactions.
Powell said the personal information of an 80-year-old DeBary man with dementia was bought on the dark web, investigators said.
The victim's caretaker said she learned of the fraudulent purchases when the victim received two bills from a South Florida dental clinic in the mail.
Jake Brenner, the victim's brother, told Channel 9 his niece notified him of the incident about a week ago.
"I never heard about anything like that," he said. "It's kind of different."
Finance companies that loaned Powell the money said they are going after him for repayment.
Investigators said Powell also used the victim's identity to spend almost $10,000 on a French bulldog puppy.
They said he made large withdrawals from another victim's account at various Regions Bank locations in Volusia County.
"I don't know how they go about catching people like that, but I'm glad they did," Brenner said.
Deputies said Powell's fingerprints were discovered on paperwork at the dentist's office, and they obtained photographs of him.
Investigators said they are searching for a possible second suspect who may have recruited Powell.
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