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‘Fake Suicide’ Story Exploits a 77-Year-Old Palm Harbor Man For $10,000.00

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – In April 2020, Jeffrey Pugliese, currently a licensed security officer, pleaded for Bill Borgiasz, a 77-year-old elderly man to help him, by lending $10,000 for his son’s funeral.

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His son, Andrew Pugliese, according to his father, had been cited for a DUI and was terminated from his job as a firefighter for Pasco County.  Pugliese said his son had just committed suicide, but lamented he had no money to bury him or pay attorney fees. 

Borgiasz willingly loaned $10,000 to Pugliese through a promissory note signed by both parties on April 30th. The first payment was due May 31st, but neither it nor any future payments were rendered to Borgiasz.

Borgiasz conducted an internet search on the ‘deceased’ son Andrew Pugliese and found no reference to his death or any other activity. He did, however, take a chance on a phone number he found. According to the lawsuit, “Plaintiff called Andrew Pugliese and determined that he is, in fact, alive.”

Jeffrey Pugliese’s allegedly “on-again, off-again” wife, Debra, is a retired New York Police Officer. She previously filed a domestic violence charge against him in 2010. 

In 2018, a felony battery charge was issued against him when he allegedly broke her forearm during a fight, but prosecutors for unknown reasons dropped the charges. They allegedly divorced in 2014 but apparently still live together.

Mr. Borgiasz offer limited input into the case but stated that he and Mr. Pugliese are former co-workers.  He also confirmed he knows Pugliese’s son is alive.

Borgiasz’s attorney Melinda P. Tindell of Dunedin.  She commented this was not filed as a fraud case in order to comply with the Plaintiff’s wishes, “The Defendant has responded to the complaint but it is not yet recorded.”

The Free Press will update this report as this case develops.

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