MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 79-year-old woman turned herself in to authorities Monday and was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on charges of filing fraudulent insurance claims and uttering forged instruments.
Jail records showed Daisy Mae Williams was being held in lieu of a $22,000 bond, but the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office said she would be released on her own recognizance after she attends her bond hearing.
That’s exactly what happened during her bond hearing.
Williams was released shortly before 1 p.m. after spending seven hours inside TGK.
“They really treated me as though I was 80,” Williams said. “They were very kind to me. They even gave me a sandwich.”
I’m looking forward to my in court. I know that I’m innocent and that I will be proven innocent.”
Williams’ attorney, Jonathan Schwartz, said jail is unnecessary for a person of her age and in her condition, as well as the fact that she has no prior arrests.
Schwartz had asked the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to simply issue Williams a notice to appear in court and avoid going to jail, but they refused.
“I’ve never broken the law in my life and I certainly wouldn’t have waited to be 80 years old to do it,” Williams said as she was turning herself in Monday morning.
Williams spent 35 years as a Miami-Dade school teacher and she’s currently a minister.
According to a complaint, Williams filed a bogus claim with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in 2017, claiming that the lightning that hit her house during Hurricane Irma damaged her roof and water pipes.
The complaint states that Williams knew it wasn’t true and that many of the receipts submitted had been altered — dates were changed.
“Were any documents altered?” Local 10 investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier asked Williams last week.
“That’s what they say, but it’s unbeknownst to me,” she responded.
When asked if she filed the claim herself or if someone filed it for her, Williams admitted to filing the claim herself.
She said that any money she got went to fixing her roof and pipes.
“I’m trying to stay calm and hold it together,” Williams told Weinsier. “I’m anxious to get through it. There is nothing I can do about it at this point.”
Williams relies on a walker to get around, has shortness of breath from COVID-19 and is insulin dependent.
“This is one of those situations where I believe this is what I would consider what the 8th Amendment of the Constitution calls ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’” Schwartz says.