FL: FBI to investigate Lake Wales fraud case

Phil Attinger reports:

Lake Wales police have turned their city bank account fraud investigation over to the FBI.

Sgt. Mark Stroup, chief local investigator on the case, said the Lake Wales Police Department made the decision last week to have the Federal Bureau of Investigations take the lead in the case, in light of the numerous jurisdictions in the case.

Last November, the city of Lake Wales suffered what Police Chief Herbert Gillis best described as “identity theft.” Hundreds of thousands of dollars were taken from a city account at Center State Bank.

Immediately, his department started working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office to identify the culprit, but it soon became clear that it was a very sophisticated crime.

The amount of money reported taken is as much as $600,000 through automatic clearing house (ACH) withdrawals.

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