VSO Arrest Suspect in DeLand 'Grandparents Scam'


DELAND, Fla. - 24-year-old New York resident Joel Mathilda was arrested and extradited to Volusia County recently on accusations that he scammed a DeLand woman for money. According to police, Mathilda posed as a representative of her grandson and asked for money to bail him out of jail.

Luckily the woman did not fall for the scam, as she was reportedly victim to the same scheme in March of 2021. Two suspects were arrested for that occurrence.

This scheme reportedly began when Mathilda called the victim posing as her grandson's attorney, saying he'd been in a car accident and needed $6,500 to keep him out of jail. The woman played along, telling the perpetrator she'd talk again later that day to finalize the details. At that point she contacted the Volusia Sheriff's Office.

Detectives with the VSO were able to arrange the money drop-off and track down the individual who'd requested a Lyft ride to retrieve the money. A lengthy investigation commenced, with search warrants and subpoenas being served to track the suspect down.

Mathilda was identified and tracked to Cayuga County, New York in February. He was arrested that month, and later extradited to Volusia County. Mathilda is charged with organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. He went on to post his $60,000 bond.