CFO Jeff Atwater and State Attorney Jerry Hill Announce the Arrest of Three Polk County Women Charged with Stealing State Funds
Contact: Alexis Lambert
TALLAHASSEE - Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, together with State Attorney Jerry Hill, today announced the arrests of three Polk County women charged with stealing state funds that were supposed to help citizens in need with utility costs. The arrests resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Office of Fiscal Integrity and the Florida Department of Community Affairs Inspector General.
Rosalind McCutchen Loften has been charged with grand theft and criminal use of personal identification information. Wilhelmina McMillan and Sheila McMillan were both charged with grand theft.
“Stealing state funds is no different than stealing directly from hard-working and honest Floridians and, in this case, from those who were in need,” said CFO Atwater. “The Office of Fiscal Integrity was established to fight this type of fraud and will continue to protect your tax dollars.”
Rosalind Loften, between January 2008 and June 2010, was employed by The Agriculture and Labor Program, Inc. (ALPI), in Lake Alfred, a non-profit corporation under contract to administer the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program provides energy assistance payments (utility payments) to eligible citizens.
In the summer of 2010, officials at ALPI and the City of Fort Meade discovered discrepancies in energy application files prepared by Loften and notified the Florida Department of Community Affairs Inspector General and the DFS Office of Fiscal Integrity.
Loften, while employed at ALPI, is accused of creating energy assistance application files containing fabricated, fraudulent and sometimes fictitious documents which generated illegal payments credited to utility accounts of Fort Meade residents and, in many cases, to Loften’s personal utility account. Loften’s alleged thefts total $15,622.71.
Sheila McMillan, a cousin of Loften, is a former employee of the City of Fort Meade where her duties included the receipt and processing of LIHEAP payments from ALPI. Sheila McMillan is charged with theft and accused of creating a new utility account in her own name and crediting ALPI energy assistance payments to her account.
Wilhelmina McMillan, Loften’s mother, is accused of signing ALPI applications for energy assistance understating her true income, giving the appearance of eligibility when her income actually exceeded the income eligibility threshold.
The Office of Fiscal Integrity is responsible for statewide investigations of allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse involving State of Florida property and money. To report fraud, waste or abuse of State of Florida resources, call 1-800-GET-LEAN (1-800-438-5326) or the Office of Fiscal Integrity directly at (850) 413-5514.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.