SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) arrested a Sarasota woman after she stole nearly $85,000 from Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida.
In May of 2016, the Chief Executive Officer for the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Inc. reported to the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office that approximately $77,000.00 in funds had been diverted by a former employee. 42-year-old Stephanie Person was immediately identified as a possible suspect since she handled the troop’s funds and banking.
An investigation was conducted, revealing electronic evidence and surveillance photos that confirmed Person had withdrawn nearly $85,000 in troop funds from various banks throughout Sarasota.
According to a release from the SCSO, Person used an inactive troop account to transfer the money to herself. Every week, Person would prepare a batch summary report which would show the name, troop ID, amount and to what account the money was being transferred into. She would then manually change the account number for some of the troop accounts. The deposited funds from that troop would be rerouted to the inactive troop account.
Person admitted to detectives that she was having financial troubles and realized how easy it was to take the money. After she started, Person said she couldn’t stop.
Detectives arrested Person early Wednesday morning. She has been charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud. Person is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail on $9,000 bond.
The investigation is ongoing.