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City employee pocketed more than $100K in licensing fees, prosecutors say

Former city employee arrested for pocketing licensing fees, prosecutors say
Former city employee arrested for pocketing licensing fees, prosecutors say

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – Officers arrested a former city of Opa-locka employee on Thursday who is accused of stealing nearly $117,000 of taxpayer’s money.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Mary Brown found an opportunity to steal from the city as a clerk for the building and licensing office.

“She would meet with the person seeking a license. She would take the money from the person seeking the license, she would take the cash herself, and there was no record of it,” Fernandez Rundle said. “Sometimes the person would get a receipt; sometimes they wouldn’t.”

Brown, 54, who worked for the city for about six years, got away with stealing from 2016 to 2019 by failing to reference customer receipt numbers in the city’s database, according to prosecutors.

“The reason it was caught is because we got information from the city itself to come forward and say, ‘You know, you need to take a look at this! Something is going on,’” Fernandez Rundle said.

Brown allegedly deposited the stolen funds into her bank account. According to the city’s human resources department, Brown was hired on Nov. 20, 2013, she resigned on Sept. 13, 2019, and her ending salary was $41,787.20.

Records show Brown remained at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Thursday afternoon. She is facing charges of organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and official misconduct of a public servant. Her bond was set at $150,000.


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