TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man was arrested and accused of stealing an elderly person’s credit cards to fraudulently spend thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency and everyday purchases, according to deputies.
Austin Brooks, 31, of Tampa, was accused of using the elderly victim’s credit card on several occasions to complete the fraudulent transactions, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies leanred the elderly victim, who has been in the hospital since October 2021, discovered the purchases were being made using his credit cards. When authorities were contacted, they learned the victim would be at a loss for the several thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases Brooks allegedly made using the cryptocurrency.
Brooks was arrested on Thursday. While he was in police custody, detectives found fentanyl on his person.
“It is infuriating that this suspect not only took advantage of one of the most vulnerable in our community but did so during a time when the victim should only be focused on their recovery in the hospital,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “He thought he would get away with these crimes knowing the victim was hospitalized, but our detectives’ thorough investigation led them to Brooks.”
Brooks faces charges of exploitation of a disabled adult, grand theft third degree ($10,000-$20,000), and possession of controlled substance. Bond was set a $17,000.
Deputies said an investigation is ongoing. Additional charges are forthcoming.