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Lakeland Woman Arrested & Charged With Defrauding Her Employer “Polk County” Over $50,000

Lakeland, Florida – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Lakeland woman charging her with scheme to defraud and grand theft of over $50,000.

On April 28, 2021 Polk County Deputies arrested Rebecca Nicole Bentz, 40, of Lakeland. Bentz was an employee of Polk County Division Fiscal Coordinator.

According to a complaint affidavit, filed by the State attorney’s office, Brian Haas, Bentz was responsible for collecting funds that were collected by the different departments in Parks and Natural Resources Departments and depositing these funds with county cashier along with other job duties. According to the affidavit Bentz allegedly defrauded the county out of $50,894.50. This allegedly occurred between January 01, 2016 and October 31, 2018.

The affidavit alleges that Bentz had 61 receipts missing from the Saddle Creek Park Gun Range during the above listed dates. The money would be collected by the gun range staff and brought to Bentz. Then Bentz would count the money out and sign a fee collection report verifying she received the funds. An audit then would be taken and any missing receipts would prompt a memo to Bentz. According the State Attorney’s Office Bentz allegedly gave excuses for some missing receipts that were inaccurate or deceptive. According to the affidavit cash deposits similar to the missing amounts would show up in one of three accounts held by Bentz at Mid Florida Bank.

Bentz has plead “not guilty” and has posted bond of $20,000 and has a hearing date set for 09/08/2021.

It does not appear that Bentz has any previous criminal history in Polk County.

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