Umatilla Man Busted For Buying Vehicles With Bum Checks in 2021, Tries Again With Stolen Credit Card

CLERMONT, Florida— A man arrested last year for scamming two local automobile dealerships has been arrested again for attempting a similar scam.

Prestin S. Carroll, 20, of Umatilla was arrested on warrant issued by Clermont Police Department Wednesday after a man complained his credit card was used fraudulently to charge $2,500 towards the purchase of a new vehicle, at Napleton Clermont Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM , 15859 State Road 50, Clermont, according to a probable cause affidavit.

CPD investigated and found that Carroll, who was employed at the dealership as a detailer, was captured on video using the card to charge $2,000 and $500 in two separate transactions towards the purchase of a 2022 Jeep Compass, the affidavit states.

A warrant was issued for his arrest Tuesday, and he was booked into the Lake County Jail on one count of credit card fraud and one count of grand theft Wednesday and released on $4,000 bond.

2022 Jeep Compass PHOTO: Jeep.com

In April 2021, Carroll was arrested for two counts of grand theft auto and four counts of fraud stemming from scamming two dealerships in Eustis; he was unsuccessful in scamming two more. Eustis Police Department responded to Advantage Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, 18311 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora on a report Carroll had purchased a 2021 Jeep Wrangler with a check written for $48,940.35 four days earlier. The check was returned the next day for insufficient funds and the manager contacted the bank and found the account the check was written on had been closed.  The manager requested Carroll bring in a cashier’s check or return the Jeep by the end of the day and Carroll agreed, according to that probable cause affidavit.

Just a week later, on April 23, another EPD officer responded to Danny Len Buick GMC, 17605 U.S. Highway 441, also on a fraud complaint. An employee told EPD Carroll came to the dealership on April 17— the same day the Jeep was returned— and wrote a $5,000 check to hold a 2013 Ford F150. On April 19, Carroll returned to the dealership and finished paperwork and wrote a check for the remaining balance on the truck— $14,857.78. The checks were returned as unpaid four days later and the employee attempted to contact Carroll to no avail and then called police.

Carroll told police he “must have accidently written checks from the wrong account,” the affidavit states; he later returned the truck. Carroll also attempted to purchase a Ford F150 Platinum worth $74,000 from Prestige Ford, 17701 U.S. Highway 441, Eustis but was unsuccessful. Carroll was also unsuccessful at Phillips Buick GMC, 2160 U.S. 441/27, Fruitland Park.

Carroll’s criminal history showed a prior arrest in Winter Haven and EPD contacted Winter Haven Police Department and found that Carroll had purchased a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro from a dealership in Winter Haven, with a worthless check in the amount of $28,379.59 The report in that case mentioned a similar case in Pasco County and EPD contacted Pasco County Sheriff’s office and found that Carroll had purchased a 2020 Toyota Tacoma from a dealership there and then traded it in on a 2021 Jeep Rubicon. He is alleged to have written two checks for those vehicles totaling nearly $75,000.

In the 2021 Lake County cases, Carroll agreed to a pre-trial intervention (PTI) program, according to Lake County Clerk of Court online records. One of Carroll’s requirements is, “The defendant agrees to refrain from any violations of law.” It is unclear how Carroll’s new charges will affect his prior cases.

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