Flagler County sheriff’s volunteer named Florida Super Senior Sleuth

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Tomme Mayne and David Cunningham were among five volunteers recognized by the Attorney General as senior advocates on Monday

A Flagler County man was one of five volunteers across the state awarded for helping to keep seniors from falling prey to scammers.

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the Super Senior Sleuths on Monday, recognizing five “outstanding volunteers” in the agency’s Seniors vs. Crime initiative. Tomme Mayne was among the quintet of honorees awarded for safeguarded older Floridians from bilking.

“I’m very honored and very humbled,” Mayne said in a phone interview. “Because honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I have a great team, I have a great manager, I’ve got good support people. And we all work together. I felt it was an honor to represent them, and it’s an honor to represent our district.”

Mayne has volunteered in Flagler County’s Seniors vs. Crime office since its inception in 2015. He serves as a captain of investigations, according to the Attorney General’s release.

Mayne is a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant who has also been a volunteer officer in the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Observer Patrol, or C.O.P., program for about 20 years.

He has worked on 82 cases and helped recover $107,747 in his time with Seniors vs. Crime.

State Attorneys Office and Flagler County Sheriff’s Office investigated Crystal Clear Pools, a Palm Coast swimming pool contractor, for more than a year before arresting the married couple that owns the company May 27. Investigators determined the pair defrauded 12 customer out of more than $455,000 in unfinished work.

Mayne helped one of the victims recover about $12,000. He said he also helped another victim recently who had been ripped off after buying an $8,000 generator last month.

“It’s very gratifying,” Mayne said. “I’ve always been a person who’s tried to give back to the community. We’re here to serve and we’re here to help people. We try to educate and we try to help people understand things that are going on out there. Things that thyey should try to protect themselves from.”

The five volunteers honored Monday are nominees for the 2019-2020 Advocate of the Year award, the winner of which Moody is expected to name this week.

David Cunningham was one of the other awardees named Monday. Cunningham is a senior sleuth who has worked out of the South Marion County office since July 2015. He was named the assistant manager of that office in 2016.

“I’m really very humbled about it, and really the work goes to everybody in our office,” he said of the award Monday. “Everybody always pulls together to try to help the seniors in the state of Florida with their problems. So I don’t think it’s an individual award as much of an award for all the work that we do all across the state.”

Cunningham, a retired police detective, spent years investigating homicides and bank robberies in Ohio. He uses those same skills now to help seniors who may have been conned out of hundreds or thousands of dollars by a landscaper or contractor.

“Florida is a target-rich environment for seniors being scammed,” he said. “So it just really feels good to be able to make a difference and help the people get their money or peace of mind back. Because at least they know that somebody tried to help them out of a situation like that.”

Monday’s announcement marked the second year Moody has recognized volunteers as part of Seniors vs. Crime, an Attorney General initiative aimed at staving off senior-target crimes. The program incorporates an army of “senior sleuths” in more than 25 counties across the state who investigate complaints, go after restitution for victims and advise vulnerable seniors. The volunteers, who are also seniors themselves, worked more than 1,900 fraud cases in 2019 and recovered over $1.7 million for seniors.

“I am overjoyed to be honoring these individuals for the work that they do to protect older Floridians.” Moody said in Monday’s release. “It is wonderful to see seniors using their golden years to give back to the community and fight for justice. I only wish I was able to honor them in person. After hearing about the extraordinary work they do in their communities, I know that all Floridians will agree, Florida’s seniors have a great team standing guard against fraud.”

Flagler residents interested in more information about Seniors vs. Crime can call the Flagler County office at 386-586-2634. They can also speak to a representative in person by visiting the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell, 1769 E. Moody Blvd., between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursdays.

Marion County residents seeking more information about Seniors vs. Crime can contact the Ocala office at 352-873-6377 or the South Marion County office at 352-753-7775.

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