Brevard Public Schools Bookkeeper Patricia Marie Coleman Arrested On Fraud, Embezzlement Charges
By Space Coast Daily // March 15, 2017
in brevard county jail on $1,073,000 Bond
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 50-year-old Patricia Marie Coleman, a former Brevard Public Schools Bookkeeper, for embezzling nearly $120,000 from Eau Gallie High School and the Cape Coast Conference over the span of two years. Coleman was transported to the Brevard County Jail Complex with a $1,073,000 Bond.
Coleman Embezzled $119,418 From Eau Gallie High School And The Cape Coast Conference Over Two Years
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 50-year-old Patricia Marie Coleman, a former Brevard Public Schools Bookkeeper, for embezzling nearly $120,000 from Eau Gallie High School and the Cape Coast Conference over the span of two years.
BCSO and the Economic Crimes Task Force conducted an investigation into the allegations of embezzlement of funds with the arrest of a former Brevard Public Schools bookkeeper, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
BCSO Agents arrested Coleman, of 3060 Cavel Street in West Melbourne, early Wednesday morning after an arrest warrant was issued by a judge charging her with Aggravated White Collar Crime, Scheme to Defraud over $50,000, Money Laundering, Depositing a check with the intent to Defraud (89 counts), Forgery (6 counts), Uttering a Forged Check (53 counts), Criminal Use of Personal ID Info over $5,000 (3 counts), Grand Theft over $20,000 and Grand Theft over $300 (19 counts).
Coleman was transported to the Brevard County Jail Complex with a $1,073,000 Bond.
The investigation was initiated in August of 2016, after the Brevard County Public School District was contacted by the newly appointed treasurer of the All Florida Junior Rodeo Association (AFJRA).
BPS was advised that the AFJRA had concerns that Coleman had embezzled money from the Association while serving as the former treasurer.
Investigators say there were also concerns that Coleman might be commingling funds between AFJRA and accounts from the Cape Coast Conference and Eau Gallie High School, where she was also employed as bookkeeper.
Based on this information, BPS conducted an audit of both the Cape Coast Conference account and the Eau Gallie High School general/internal accounts.
The audit resulted in irregularities and concerning transactions, at which time BPS contacted the Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Task Force and a criminal investigation was initiated.
The investigation has revealed that over a two-year period covering the 2014-2015 through 2016-2017 school years, Coleman embezzled $96,592.58 from Eau Gallie High School and $22,825.68 from the Cape Coast Conference.
Further investigation, revealed that Coleman embezzled over $50,000 while acting as treasurer for two Rodeo associations.
The Task Force found that Coleman used various methods to avoid detection.
She would commingle funds between all four accounts and divert checks received from the intended accounts to her own personal accounts. Many of the accounts required two signatures, however, Coleman bypassed this procedure in many cases by using a stamp for the second signature or in some instances, by forging the signature of the co-signer.
Coleman diverted cash received from home athletic contests and fundraising efforts by making smaller deposits into multiple accounts. Coleman also falsified receipts in order to issue checks, which she deposited in her personal accounts.
Coleman resigned from BPS on September 2, 2016. She was hired by BPS in April of 1990 and has been assigned to Eau Gallie High School since June of 1999.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Titusville Police Department, Melbourne Police Department, Cocoa Police Department and a dedicated attorney from the State Attorney’s Office.
“I am very proud of everyone involved in this investigation, the Economic Crimes Task Force concept was created with these types of crimes and predators in mind,” said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
“Anyone who preys on our citizens and the good nature of parents, students and volunteers who provide so much financial support for school, student and child related programs truly deserve some special law enforcement attention.”
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