LAND O' LAKES - A former church pastor who was wanted on a fraud charge turned himself in Thursday at the Hillsborough County Jail, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office reported.
Bruce Stutzman, 38, of 5222 Martinique Drive, Lakeland, was booked into the jail on a Pasco warrant for fraudulent use of personal information. He was later released on $5,000 bail.
Stutzman, a former senior pastor of New Hope Alliance Church in Land O' Lakes, is accused to setting up a fraudulent credit card account using the name of a church elder who was unaware of the account, the sheriff's office reported.
The church learned about the account in June when it received an e-mail from Fifth Third Bank saying the account was delinquent in the amount of $17,400, the sheriff's report said.
Detective Gary Souto of the Pasco sheriff's economic crimes unit investigated and determined that Stutzman opened the account in January 2009, the report said.
Stutzman is accused of using credit cards to pay personal utility bills, make store purchases and write checks to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash advances, the sheriff's office reported.
The investigation also determined he used $3,400 in church funds to make payments on the fraudulent account, the report said.
The church does not want to pursue charges related to the theft of the church money, the report said.