Local News

Man accused of defrauding brother-in-law, customer

AVON PARK A man accused earlier this year of making bogus solicitations for donations to Habitat for Humanity has also been accused of defrauding his brother-in-law and a customer of a business he owns, according to warrant affidavits released Friday. Daniel Lee Battertbee, 33, 206 E. Thomas St., Avon Park, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office and faces additional charges of fraud, criminal use of personal identification, uttering a false instrument, third-degree grand theft of an elderly person and fraud, according to warrant affidavits. He previously was charged with misrepresenting charitable endorsement without permission, failure to properly apply solicited charitable contributions, using an emblem of another charitable organization, petit theft and misrepresenting that the solicitation of funds will go to a charitable organization. In one case, Batterbee's brother-in-law told authorities that Batterbee obtained a line of credit by fraudulently using his name, the affidavit said. He made the allegation after receiving documents showing his name was fraudulently signed in relation to Batterbee's business, Creative Floors, receiving goods from another business, the affidavit said.
The brother-in-law confronted Batterbee about the matter and Batterbee promised to pay him back, but he has received no money, he told authorities. In another case, a 75-year-old man reported that he bought $550 of wood from Batterbee, but never received it, an affidavit said. Previously, authorities said that Batterbee asked businesses for donations for Habitat for Humanity, but never gave any money to the organization. Habitat for Humanity officials said that's not the way they raise money. Batterbee has said that he is innocent of the charges.

jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834