From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida:
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Roselle Fitzgerald to 21 months in federal prison for theft of government funds and counterfeit or forged securities. As part of her sentence, the court entered a money judgment of $185,731.71, the proceeds of the theft of criminal conduct, and ordered Fitzgerald to pay restitution.
Fitzgerald had pleaded guilty on December 11, 2018.
According to court documents, 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. In total, Fitzgerald received approximately $184,400 in Disability Insurance Benefits to which she was not entitled, as well as $9,910.50 in Medicare benefits to which she was not entitled. The total loss to the law firms as a result of Fitzgerald’s counterfeit or forged checks was $7,685.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Sarasota Police Department. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Huyler.