Mark Patsones, 58, was found guilty as charged of one count of Scheme to Defraud following a trial in Lee County. The State Attorney’s Office has filed a motion to seek a Habitual Felony Offender (HFO) designation. This can elevate the penalty the defendant faces. We are seeking the maximum penalty as an HFO for this crime of 10 years in prison.
In the Spring of 2018, over the span of three weeks, Patsones committed his crimes. He first met a woman on a dating site online and went on a few dates with her. He then told her he needed cash because his car broke down and needed to pay for a tow truck. He gave her a check and she gave him $125 in cash. The check bounced due to insufficient funds in his account. She attempted to speak with him after the check bounced, but he never returned her calls.
The defendant then went to a mall in Fort Myers. He gave a clerk at one of the stores a story about a string of bad luck he was having. He said he wanted to write a check to get cash because his car had broken down while he was trying to feed his children at a local church. He bought a drink at the store and the small business cashed his check for $81.70. The check also bounced due to insufficient funds. The store’s owner attempted to contact him after the check bounced, but he never returned her calls.
Patsones then went to a golf store in Fort Myers and also told stories of hardship about wanting to purchase items but needing to cash checks for over the amount so he could have some money on him. He wrote two checks at the store totaling just over $200. He then went to a nearby shoe store and did the same thing, writing a check for $249.09. All of the checks were no good.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office collected evidence in all four incidents and were able to get enough information in partnership with our office to make an arrest. Patsones just got released from prison in 2017 for the fraudulent use of a credit card in another part of Florida.
Assistant State Attorney Andrew Riordan prosecuted the case.
State Attorney’s Office