ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County Sheriff's Office patrol deputy is accused of taking thousands of dollars from a local man without ever giving him the vehicles he agreed to purchase, department officials said.
The agency announced Tuesday the arrest of Deputy Jackson Etienne.
Officials said Etienne met the victim during a law enforcement visit to his home and eventually, the two of them and an associate of Etienne agreed to conduct business together.
The victim thought Etienne and his associate could get buses and other vehicles at a discounted price through auction, so he paid $15,400 for two buses Dec. 21, 2018, then paid $12,098 for a Cadillac Escalade on Dec. 31, 2018, according to the arrest report.
Deputies said Etienne and other man cashed the checks but never gave the victim any of the vehicles. The investigation found the vehicles were never purchased and the victim's money was instead used at restaurants, stores and gas stations, records show.
When the victim realized the vehicles had never been purchased, he gave the men several opportunities to return his money, and although they agreed on a refund, the men never followed through, according to the affidavit.
The victim contacted the Sheriff's Office on Jan. 30.
Etienne was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of scheme to defraud and grand theft by fraud.
Department officials said Etienne, who was hired in November 2016, was relieved of his law enforcement duties and placed in an administrative position when the criminal investigation began earlier this year.
He has since been relieved of all law enforcement powers without pay. An internal investigation will resume once the criminal case is completed.
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