FL: Convicted felon hijacks charity – and the state can’t stop it?
Adam Walser reports that a former volunteer at the non-profit Kingdom Purpose, Teach One Reach One after-school program was allegedly able to hijack ownership of the charity by altering public information on the Florida Department of State sunbiz.org website. And there’s little the Department of State says they can do about it.
The former volunteer, Sabrina Miller-White, who had been convicted on felony charges involving credit card fraud and is currently on 10 years’ probation allegedly “went into Sunbiz and started changing my information instantly, and I have not been able to get it straightened out,” Terry Dow-Harris tells Walser.
Information on OpenCorporates supports Harris’s claims about the takeover:
Walser reports how easy it was for White to hijack the charity from Harris:
White removed Harris’ name from all the corporate documents and appointed herself president of the organization.
She then used the information from Sunbiz to change information on file with the IRS to obtain a new 501C-3 tax exemption document, allowing her to collect donations and avoid paying sales tax on purchases.
“She has something from the IRS saying that she’s legitimate, so they take that, and make a copy of it and she can get money from anybody she wants,” Harris said.
Harris had Sunbiz change the information back, then White changed it again.
The cycle repeated itself, despite multiple calls by Harris to the Florida Secretary of State’s Office.
Read more on ABC. From a statement provided to ABC by the Department of State, it seems the state has little regulatory authority over the sunbiz.org submissions and that anyone and everyone could be at risk of hijacking this way if unscrupulous individuals or criminals decided to hijack an organization to obtain funds or donations.
And this convicted felon is someone who has a long track record of arrests for credit card fraud. That’s particularly concerning when Beyond.com lists Sabrina Miller-White as having held positions in the health care sector where she would have had access to patient identity information. So DataBreaches.net decided to do a somewhat deeper dive into her criminal record.
In some cases, Miller-White, aged 48, is listed with a hyphenated last name, but in others, “Miller” appears as a middle name. Publicly available mug shots and records list other aliases as “Sabrina White,” “Sabrina R. White,” “Sabrina Renae White,” and “Sabrina Renee White.” The offense for which she was convicted (Fraudulent Use of Personal ID) occurred on June 1, 2009. She was arrested for that in June, 2011, and sentenced on January 4, 2013 to 10 years community supervision.
White’s self-reported work history indicates that in June 2009, she was employed as a health technician at the Department of Veteran Affairs, although it’s not clear from available records whether the criminal conduct was work-related in any way.
Just two months before the 2009 offense for which she received probation, White had been arrested on the same charges – fraudulent use of credit cards. At that time (April 1, 2009), she reported she was employed at a VA hospital. She was released on surety bond of $8,000.00 the next day.
And on June 16, 2009, while still reportedly employed at the VA, she was arrested on the same charge and released on $6,000.00 surety bond.
Yet again, on January 20, 2010, while still reportedly employed at the VA, she was arrested for grand theft and fraudulent use of credit cards. She was released on her own recognizance on February 10.
Other records show that White was subsequently arrested on March 11, 2010, also for fraudulent use of credit cards. And yes, she was reportedly still employed as a health technician at the Department of Veteran Affairs. She was released on probation for that arrest on March 16th, but was arrested again on April 6, 2010 for fraudulent use of credit cards. She was released on probation for that arrest on April 14.
In April 2010, her employment with the VA terminated. Had they found out about the repeated arrests for ID theft? And if they did find out, should they have known sooner?
White was arrested again on December 22, 2010, again for fraudulent use of credit cards. She was released on her own recognizance January 6, 2011.
She was arrested again on June 14, 2011 for grand theft and fraudulent use of credit cards. She was released on probation on June 21, 2011. At the time, she claimed that she was employed by SCD Laboratories as a phlebotomist. Her resume on Beyond.com lists her employer as “Sun Laboratories Services” and her job position as a services scheduler.
On November 14, 2011, while still reportedly employed by SCD Laboratories, she was arrested again for fraudulent use of credit cards. She was also arrested that day for battery and domestic violence. She was released the next day on her own recognizance on both charges. The latter charges were subsequently dismissed.
On January 29, 2013, just days before her supervision began for her 2009 case, and weeks after her sentencing, White was arrested for passing a bad check. She was released on $1,000.00 surety bond the same day. And yes, she was still allegedly employed at SCD Laboratories on that date.
On April 29, 2014, White was arrested again for passing bad checks. This time, she said her employer was “Aerotech (sic) Temporary Services.” Her resume on Beyond.com says she was employed as a Patient Care Advocate/Prior Authorization Representative at Express Scripts at that time.
And that’s not her complete arrest record. Perhaps Florida would care to explain why they keep releasing her into the community with this history? It’s well known that ID theft and certain types of fraud have high recidivism rates. So why keep letting people off lightly (unless they’re innocent of the charges, of course).
And perhaps her employers can clarify what kind of criminal background checks they run, and how often they re-run them? Having a woman with this type of history in settings with potential access to patient identity information and other sensitive information makes no sense to this blogger, and although I have no evidence that she engaged in any criminal conduct in her work settings, I don’t think it’s prudent to put people with this type of history in positions where they may have access to others’ personal information.
In the meantime, the charity’s president continues to try to get herself reinstated in legal documents for her charity, with no meaningful help from the state or the IRS.