A 42-year-old Sarasota woman started stealing money from the Girl Scouts to help her get through tough financial times.
Then she said she couldn't stop.
Now Stephanie Person, 42, is facing grand theft and scheme to fraud charges. She is accused of stealing $85,000 from the Girl Scouts of GulfCoast Fl.
The chief executive officer of the organization became suspicious in May that $77,000 had been diverted from accounts holding money for troops, according to the police report.
Person was the member services coordinator for the Girl Scouts, who handled money for the organization. She allegedly began transferring money into an inactive troop account she used for her own expenses. The Gulfcoast organization is comprised of troops from 10 counties.
She allegedly transferred money from the accounts of five troops. She took $73,455.74 from Troop 400's account.
Person told the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office on Monday she was experiencing hardship when she began taking money from the Girl Scout account. She intended to pay it back, but never resolved her financial problems, according to an arrest report.
Instead, she told authorities "she found herself unable to stop" when she saw how easy it was.
Person is being held at the Sarasota County Jail on a $9,000 bond.
The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast, Fl. has nearly 6,500 members from grades K-12 and about 2,700 adult members from Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry, and Collier counties.
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