PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County school employee was arrested Monday and charged with using her coworker’s identity to open a fraudulent credit card account.
Michelle Roe is currently out of jail on a $10,000 bond.
Deputies said the investigation began in April, when the victim contacted the sheriff’s office to report her personal information had been stolen.
“The 77-year-old victim contacted the sheriff’s office and reported that her personal identification was stolen in order to open a Capital One credit card online,” said Deputy Jessica Mackesy, with Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim never knew the culprit was right under her nose.
Both the victim and Roe worked in the administration office at the school.
Detectives say Roe, a bookkeeper at Nina Harris Elementary school, accessed school records to gain the victim’s personal information and then used it to apply for a credit card online.
Fraud investigators traced the online application to the school’s computer.
The fraudulent card was supposed to be mailed to the Eagles Lodge, where Roe is a secretary.
The card was stopped from being mailed.
Administrators at the school had no comment.
Parents couldn’t believe it.
“It’s troubling,” said one parent.
“Well, like anybody else, I’d be angry,” said one parent picking up her child.
Pinellas Co. district officials released the following statement:
“Pinellas County schools maintains policies and procedures to protect the personal information of employees. All employees with access to personnel databases receive training on privacy policies and practices. Due to the seriousness of the allegations in this case, Ms. Roe will not return to her school until a full administrative investigation is completed.”
Roe has worked for the school district since 1998.
Following her release from jail, she will meet with the Office of Professional Standards as part of a district investigation into the incident.
She currently does not have access to employee information and she will not have access while under investigation.
Detectives believe there could be more victims.
“She is a school board employee and you would never think that your coworker who is put in a position of trust would utilize the school records to fraudulently open an application,” said Deputy Mackesy.
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