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Employee at State Attorney's Office arrested for stealing money from defendants in diversion program

Posted at 2:18 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 14:20:49-05

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — An employee for the State Attorney's Office was arrested after deputies say she stole $300 in money orders from offenders who were trying to complete a divergent program.

According court documents, Leon County deputies responded to a reported employee theft at the State Attorney's Office on Feb.7.

When deputies arrived on scene, they spoke with the office manger who stated that 22-year-old Katelyn Harrell of Havana, stole money orders given to her by defendants as court ordered payments.

The payments were given as part of the defendants participation in the court's diversion program. Deputies say if the thefts hadn't been reported, the defendants could've been punished for failing to pay their mandatory fees.

During the investigation, deputies received copies of the court ordered stipulations and copies of the money orders Harrell had stolen.

When deputies reviewed the money, they found that they had been deposited in the suspects name.

During an interview with Harrell, she confessed to stealing three money orders.

Harrell went on to explain that she needed to pay rent and decided to keep the money orders given to her by the defendants.

Documents say Harrell admitted that she never logged the payments into the State Attorney's Office system and had wrote her name in the "Pay to the Order of" portion of the form. Harrell then deposited the money into her personal Envision Credit Union Account.

Deputies say Harrell stated that she intended to pay the money back at some point.

All three of the stolen money orders were made out for $100 each.

Based on the evidence, Harrell was arrested and transported to the Leon County Detention Facility. She is facing multiple charges including making fraudulent depots, larceny theft and falsifying official documents.

Harrell has since been bonded out.