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Broward Couple Arrested for Grand Theft and Forgery

6/20/2003


FT. LAUDERDALE — A former homicide detective from Broward County and his girlfriend were arrested Monday for signing and submitting forged documents to obtain $1,200 in unclaimed property that belonged to the detective's ex-wife. The couple has been charged with one felony count of grand theft, two felony counts of forgery, and two felony counts of uttering a forged instrument as the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Department of Financial Services' Office of Fiscal Integrity, Broward County Sheriff's Office, and the Broward County State Attorney's Office.

James Francis Carr, 52, and Cassandra Bechtel, 46, were arrested and booked into the Broward County Jail on Monday.

State investigators say James Carr forged documents and a state warrant and submitted them to the department's Bureau of Unclaimed Property to collect $1,200 in unclaimed property that was held in his ex-wife's name, Patricia Carr. The unclaimed property represented stock Ms. Carr had received from her grandmother as a wedding gift.

According to investigators, James Carr's girlfriend Cassandra falsely presented herself as the ex-wife and forged Patricia Carr's signature on the back of the check sent by the state. The money paid out to James Carr has since been recovered and sent to Patricia Carr.

Special prosecutor Jay Novick of the Dade County State Attorney's Office will be prosecuting the case.

The Office of Fiscal Integrity is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, waste and abuse involving state property and money. To report fraud and abuse, call the department toll-free at 1-800-GET-LEAN (1-800-438-5326). The line is available 24 hours a day.