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Former American Red Cross employee accused of fraud

8:58 AM, Nov 1, 2013   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- On Thursday morning the Gainesville Police Department filed charges against Casey Marie Schmelz.

Schmelz was employed at the American Red Cross North Central Florida chapter for five years, but investigators claim she's been scamming the organization since 2011.

Schmelz, 29, is accused of helping herself to more than $200,000 from the American Red Cross, a non-profit she represented in public.

"When the American Red Cross responds to a disaster area, if a family is in needs of funds for clothing or whatever it may be they offer them sort of like a debit card to assist with these things they are in need of," said Detective Chris King with the Gainesville Police Department.

Det. King said Schmelz used another employee's username and password to add funds to debit cards that are given to disaster relief victims.

"So she was making a duplicate case and then she was assigning fraudulent names making a card with that case file and then taking a card for her own benefit," said Det. King.

Schmelz allegedly used the debit cards to withdraw cash from ATM's around Gainevsille.

Surveillance video, transaction history and Schmelz's own statements gave the Gainesville Police Department enough evidence to charge her with grand theft and scheme to defraud.

The American Red Cross terminated Schmelz on August 30, 2013.

"When the truth came out she really hurt a lot of people who she worked with. They are a small group there. Those who have been employed with the American Red Cross and it was like a family there. For her to do that to her family it really was tragic," Det. King added.

The State Attorney's office will determine if they will now prosecute Schmelz.

WCJB-TV

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