Ocala, Florida – A 38-year-old veteran employee of the Marion County Public School system was arrested and charged with organized fraud Wednesday. She was taken to the Marion County Jail and released about 24 hours later on a bond of $2,000.
The woman is on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. She is a finance clerk in business services and has worked for the school system for 16 years.
An Ocala police officer was called to the district’s Internal Auditing Division on Oct. 5 to take a report about possible embezzlement. School system officials had apparently conducted an audit on money collected from various school collections and found that $15,758.07 was missing.
School officials told police that the woman had been “flagged” for an incident in July after an error was found related to the account she was in charge of.
Reports indicate that an audit was performed on the various collections the woman received from July 1 to Sept. 21, which allegedly revealed the amount that was missing. School officials claim the woman was given the money from collections to deposit the checks or cash. She allegedly deposited the checks, but not the cash.
The case was passed along to a detective to further investigate the claims. At the conclusion of his investigation, the woman was arrested and taken into custody. She apparently refused to speak to the detective regarding the accusations against her.
The state of Florida tends to prosecute those accused of fraud-related offenses rather harshly. Prosecutors devote a lot of time and resources to white collar crimes, like embezzlement. Typically these crimes involve complex financial transactions, and you may be under investigation without even knowing it. In fact, it could take months for the prosecution to build its case against you before making an arrest and filing charges. As soon as you know you are under investigation for embezzlement you should consult with a white collar crimes defense lawyer. Every white collar case is unique, so it is essential to the outcome of your case to make sure you are properly represented as early on as possible.
The penalties associated with an organized fraud conviction can vary depending on the value of money, services or goods obtained from the victim or victims. Any victims of organized fraud may also seek financial restitution for their losses. Because white collar crimes are becoming more and more common in the state of Florida, courts are imposing penalties that are more severe than ever. With the stakes so high, it is important to not take any chances. The Ocala Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can assess the charges stacked against you and protect your best interests. Contact us today online or call us in Ocala at 352-369-5334 for a free consultation. Reach us 24/7 statewide and toll-free by dialing 866-608-5529.