Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge issues bench warrant for Pasco man who fled fraud trial

A bench warrant was issued for Daren Randall Trusty’s arrest. He faces up to 15 years.

A bench warrant was issued for Daren Randall Trusty’s arrest. He faces up to 15 years.

DADE CITY — Daren Randall Trusty was found guilty Tuesday of stealing more than $20,000 from the travel agency where he worked and two of its clients.

But he wasn't there for the verdict.

"We'll have a conversation later about him not being here," Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa told jurors in regard to Trusty, who was free on bail. He drove away after the six-man, six-woman jury reached its verdict after an hour of deliberations.

Then Siracusa issued a bench warrant for Trusty's arrest.

Trusty, who has at least three felonies on his record, was in court for most of his two-day trial. He testified Tuesday that he had reasonable explanations for the thousands of dollars that were put into his bank account and expenditures that showed up on his corporate credit card.

He said his former boss, Julie Illes, had him use his personal accounts to handle business transactions. He said she did not reimburse him for several.

"She still owes me money," he testified.

The 46-year-old was found guilty of scheming to defraud his employer, A World of Adventures in Wesley Chapel, and clients Susan Rapp and Lawrence Walter.

Prosecutors said he told the clients he could offer them discounts or upgrades if they paid with an American Express Platinum credit card. They didn't have one, so they either paid cash or wrote checks to Trusty directly.

They never took the trips or got their money refunded.

Trusty testified that he had health problems that forced him to cancel one of the trips he planned to take with Rapp and her husband. He said that after he was fired from the travel agency in October 2010 after working there six months, Mrs. Rapp told him to keep part of the $17,000 she had paid him for trips.

But Assistant State Attorney Phil Matthey questioned that claim.

"That's nonsense," he said, pointing out that the Rapps had later gone to small claims court to recover the money. He also noted that Trusty's bank accounts did not show payment of any medical bills.

Trusty's attorney, Marie Mabry, asked Trusty about some deposits into his account, including one for $20,000. He said it was a gift from his parents. She questioned how deputies could tell his deposits were not from legitimate sources.

But Matthey pointed out that the deposit was made after Trusty was fired in November of 2010.

"He lived a lavish lifestyle, and his income couldn't support it," he said.

Trusty — once he's found and arrested — will be sentenced Oct. 25. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Judge issues bench warrant for Pasco man who fled fraud trial 08/27/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 6:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  2. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change

    National

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  3. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  5. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]