69-year-old woman arrested after allegedly cashing fraudulent check at bank in The Villages

Bela Pugsley

A 69-year-old woman was arrested after allegedly cashing a fraudulent check at a bank in The Villages.

Wildwood police were alerted by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia about a fraudulent check complaint. A $4,430 check cashed at Chase Bank at Pinellas Plaza led to Bela Kathleen Pugsley of Wildwood. The money had been deposited in an account in Pugsley’s name, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department.

During an interview at Pugley’s home at 603 Powell St., she claimed to have been the victim of a scam perpetrated by an “African attorney.” When the documentation did not support that claim, Pugsley admitted she knew what she was doing was wrong, but needed to “recoup some lost money.”

She was arrested on felony charges of grand theft and fraud and booked at the Sumter County Detention Center. She was released on her own recognizance.

Pugsley had been arrested in 2014 after slapping an 89-year-old woman.