Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Friday, October 26, 2012
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Parolee rejailed on check charges

A Key West woman who pleaded guilty to a federal tax fraud charge in 2010 has once again found herself facing criminal fraud charges.

The Monroe County State Attorney's Office has charged Sandra Perez, who formally went by her maiden name, Suarez, with seven counts of forgery, seven counts of uttering a forged instrument, fraudulent use of a credit card and grand theft. She turned herself into authorities Thursday afternoon and was booked into the Monroe County jail on Stock Island.

Perez is a member of the Suarez family who was involved in a scheme to defraud the IRS. The scheme involved inmates at the Monroe County jail submitting bogus tax returns. Perez was sentenced to six months in prison and three years of supervised release after accepting a plea deal in federal court in which she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS.

Perez was given the deal in exchange for her testimony in the case.

Perez was hired by Key Iron Works on Stock Island in August, according to an arrest warrant.

Shortly after she was hired, she reportedly began forging checks and cashing them. By the end of September, she had forged and cashed seven checks totaling $4,133, the arrest warrant states. Perez reportedly fraudulently used the company's credit card five times for a total of $242, the warrant states.

"I thought I was doing the right thing by giving her a job, and she stole from me," Key West Iron Works owner Steve Henson said Thursday.

Prosecutors said they had alerted federal probation officials of the potential violation of her supervised release.

It was unknown Thursday when she would go before a federal judge on the violation of her release.

Perez's attorney, Richard Wunsch, declined to comment on the charges on Thursday.

tohara@keysnews.com

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