Candidate, church embezzlement suspect turns himself in - FOX 13 News

Candidate, church embezzlement suspect turns himself in

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Durfey, 54, turned himself in to authorities in Hardee County early Sunday morning. He was released after posting a bond of $21,000. Durfey, 54, turned himself in to authorities in Hardee County early Sunday morning. He was released after posting a bond of $21,000.
WAUCHULA (FOX 13) -

A 54-year-old Osceola County Clerk of the Court candidate being sought by authorities in Polk County on embezzlement charges has turned himself in.

Oliver Daniel Durfey was booked into the Hardee County Jail in Wauchula early Sunday morning.

He was released just after 1:30 p.m. after posting a bond of $21,000.

According to a Polk County Sheriff's Office report Durfey pilfered approximately $56,000 from the First Baptist Church of Poinciana over a 26-month period beginning in April 2010.

Investigators say the suspect was employed as an administrator by the church located in Polk County.

Durfey, who is one of four Republican candidates on the ballot in Osceola County's Tuesday primary election, obtained a debit card in the church's name without its knowledge.

Through his employment with the church Durfey had access to two of the congregation's checking accounts and one of its savings accounts.

In his on-line Campaign Treasurer's Report Durfey claims he took two personal loans from himself, totaling $10,000. Detectives claim bank records from the church indicate those funds came from their accounts not the suspect's.

Durfey is no stranger to law enforcement. He has an arrest record in the state of Florida that dates back to the 1970s. Those prior arrests are for a variety of crimes including carrying a concealed weapon, robbery, armed battery, loitering, grand theft, vehicle theft, fraud and forgery.

The suspect's campaign website was taken down on Sunday. In addition to embezzlement charges Durfey is also charged with grand theft and scheming to defraud.

The suspect did not return several phones calls seeking comment on the case and his candidacy.

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