***UPDATE TO POLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE INVESTIGATION OF FRAUD AGAINST POLK CARES (COVID 19 ASSISTANCE)***
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office made another arrest Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the twelfth person total, in the ongoing investigation of fraudulent activity involving theft from Polk Cares, the Covid-19 assistance program funded by the Federal CARES Act. The program was created to assist with rent, utilities, and other housing expenses, for people who became unemployed or lost hours due to Covid-19.
The most recent person to be arrested is Lashunna Morris, 37, of Lake Wales. She turned herself in at the Central Booking facility in Bartow, where she was charged with Scheme to Defraud(F3), Grand Theft(F3), and Criminal Use of ID(F3).
This investigation remains open, with more arrest possible.
During a news conference on January 29th, Sheriff Grady Judd said many more suspicious applications were being looked at, and urged anyone else who obtained Polk Cares funds through criminal means to return the money and make it better for themselves.