A county parks worker in Florida is accused of forging a receipt and selling electronics he purchased with government funds.
WPEC-TV reported that 37-year-old Bryan Thomas Buxton, of Jensen Beach, was arrested on grand theft charges Friday by the Martin County Sheriff’s Department.
Buxton, a Martin County Parks and Recreation supervisor, may have used up to $10,000 in county money to buy items that he would turn around and sell for his own profit, Chief Deputy John Budensiek told TCPalm.com.
Authorities said Buxton sold two brand new Nintendo game systems and an Apple smartwatch to a pawn shop in Stuart last month, according to the arrest warrant. Buxton initially purchased the game systems and watch, along with other items, from Walmart. The receipt from Walmart showed a total of $1,055.67, all paid for by a credit card issued by Martin County.
Investigators said the receipt that Buxton turned in to the county had been altered to remove the video game systems and Apple smartwatch and the prices for the other items were changed to appear that the items were more expensive than they were, WPEC-TV reported.
"It looked like while he was relatively crafty in his crime he was committing, he was on a strong downward spiral," Budensiek told TCPalm.com. "And at some point was just playing fast and loose."
Buxton is accused of forging the receipt to conceal his criminal activity of defrauding Martin County by fraudulently using the credit card.
The pawn shop owner told investigators he found it odd that Buxton sold the new items for less money instead of returning them to Walmart for a full refund.
County Administrator Taryn Kryzda said Buxton worked with the county since April 2017 and coordinates summer and after-school programs for children.
Many of the purchases on the forged receipts from Walmart appeared to be legitimate supplies for the programs, she said.
Buxton is facing felony charges of third-degree grand theft, giving false information to a pawnbroker, dealing in stolen property and uttering a forged instrument.
Buxton reportedly told investigators he had an addiction he was fighting and was using the money from the unauthorized sales to support his habit, TCPalm.com reported.
Buxton was fired on Friday, the same day of his arrest.