Police: Volusia Employee Scams Needy Benefits of Deceased
DELAND, Florida — Volusia County Sheriff’s investigators arrested a human services employee for the county on Wednesday night for allegedly using her job to fraudulently secure more than $1,500 in financial assistance.
Investigators arrested 35-year-old Dawn Jackson on charges of grand theft and fraudulently obtaining goods, services or money. Both are felony offenses.
Jackson is a staff assistant in the County’s Human Services office, which provides temporary emergency assistance to financially-needy residents who meet certain eligibility criteria. Jackson was hired by the county in November 2006 and has been assigned to Human Services since May 2008, where she was able to learn the procedures for processing applications for financial aid. Officials said that’s what enabled her to commit the fraud. The staff at Human Services was first to discover the financial irregularities during a recent audit and then quickly called in the Sheriff’s Office to conduct a criminal investigation.
Using the application for a former Human Services client who is now dead, Jackson was allegedly able to direct financial aid to pay her rent on two occasions and her utility bill one time. The total funds involved was $1,532.
However, authorities say that the investigation is still active and additional records are being collected for review. After being called in by a supervisor, Jackson allegedly said she knew that she had been caught and was concerned that she was going to be arrested. Sheriff’s investigators picked her up at her home in DeLand shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday night and took her to jail.