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Polk church worker, candidate accused of $56,000 fraud

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Polk County sheriff's deputies are seeking a church administrator and political candidate who is suspected of embezzling thousands of dollars.

A warrant was issued today for Oliver "Dan" Durfey, 54, 669 Deauville Court, Kissimmee on one count each of scheming to defraud, grand theft and illegal use of a credit card.

According to the affidavit, Durfey, who worked for the First Baptist Church of Poinciana, used the church's two checking accounts and its savings account from April 2010 to June 2012 for his own personal use.

Durfey obtained a debit card for the account without the church's knowledge or permission and used it for transactions that totaled more than $56,000.

Detectives also learned that Durfey is running for clerk of courts in Osceola County and used church funds to pay for two booths at political venues for his campaign.

Durfey's online campaign treasurer's report also shows two $5,000 "loans" from Dan Durfey that coincided with $5,000 withdrawals from church's accounts, deputies said.

Durfey was arrested 10 times between 1976 and 1996, according to the sheriff's office. Charges in those incidents range from burglary to vehicle theft to fraud.

Anyone with information about Durfey's whereabouts is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office (863) 298-6200 or local law enforcement.

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