From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida:
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Roselle Fitzgerald (54, Bradenton) with one count of theft of government funds, two counts of making a false statement to a federal agency, seven counts of presenting counterfeit or forged securities, and three counts of fraudulent use of a means of identification. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment on each count of fraudulent use of a means of identification, 10 years in prison on the theft of government funds count and for each count of presenting counterfeit or forged securities, and up to 5 years’ imprisonment on each count of false statement to a federal agency. The indictment also notifies Fitzgerald that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $192,091.20, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.
According to the indictment, Fitzgerald worked as a title-closer at various law firms, while simultaneously receiving Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits to which she was not entitled. Fitzgerald also made material false statements to employees of the Social Security Administration regarding her work activity. In addition, she possessed counterfeit or forged checks from the law firms where she was employed and used the means of identification of others in connection with the counterfeit or forged checks.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General and the Sarasota Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Huyler.