Theft from Employer and the State of Florida Leads to Prison Sentence

Today Betty Jacquet was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 8 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation for crimes committed involving two different cases. She was convicted of Scheme to Defraud and Grand Theft in the first case and Welfare Fraud in the second case. The defendant made a plea to the court. This is when a defendant gives up their right to a jury trial and wants the judge to directly sentence them. This is not the same as a plea agreement.

Between January 20, 2010 and March 29, 2015, the defendant was employed as the office manager for a fencing business in Collier County. While employed, the defendant was receiving welfare benefits from the State of Florida. The Department of Financial Services began an investigation into welfare fraud.

Jacquet made misrepresentations to the Department of Children and Families about her employment status and salary. This was in an effort to unlawfully obtain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, food stamps, in the amount of $11,377.00. She also unlawfully received Medicaid benefits in the amount of $9,242.97, that she would not have otherwise qualified for. The total loss to the State of Florida and Department of Children and Families was $20,619.97.

That investigation led to the discovery of another crime. The defendant had been writing herself checks out of the company’s operating account. She wrote 31 checks totaling $226,747.95. Jacquet also utilized the company’s credit card on 32 occasions, charging $13,674.67 in cruises and flights. She stole a total of $240,422.62 from the business. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and investigated the case.

Charges were then filed by Assistant State Attorney Tino Cimato of the State Attorney’s Office
Economic Crimes Unit.

As part of her sentence, Jacquet must make full restitution to her former employer, the State of
Florida, and the Department of Children and Families.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office