A woman who held the position of supervisor at the Department of Children and Family Services (“DCF”) was arrested for allegedly stealing money that was intended for recipients of government assistance, according to an article on www.News4Jax.com. She was arrested on charges of grand theft, criminal use of personal information and scheming to defraud according to the article. The total amount of money that was reportedly stolen was approximately $24,000.
This type of theft, which is often categorized as a white collar crime, is committed in Florida when a person takes the property of another for his/her own use without authorization. The penalties for the crime of theft in Florida depend on a variety of factors, including the value of that which is stolen. Where money has been stolen in an amount equal to or greater than $20,000 but less than $100,000, the crime is grand theft which is a second degree felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
As criminal defense lawyers representing a person who has been accused of such a theft or white collar crime, in addition to evaluating the evidence to determine if there is sufficient evidence to prove the defendant committed the crime, it is always important to evaluate the evidence to make sure the amount the state alleges was stolen is accurate and not based on any presumptions or speculation. This could mean the difference between a first degree, second degree or third degree felony or even a misdemeanor and potentially many years in prison and/or on probation.