Former Columbia County records supervisor arrested for stealing $27K
LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - A Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into discrepancies with tax deed sales uncovered a multi-year fraud scheme in Columbia County.
FDLE agents arrested Katrina M. Vercher, 60, of Lake City, on one felony count of scheme to defraud and three felony counts of official misconduct. She previously worked for the Columbia County Clerk of Courts as a records supervisor.
The investigation began in June 2021, when the clerk of courts noticed discrepancies in tax deed sales. Agents audited the sales and discovered 46 transactions where Vercher either altered records by writing a reduced sale price or reducing fees.
Agents say Vercher’s personal bank records show she pocketed the difference between the amount of money collected and the altered records. They also found multiple instances where Vercher physically altered deeds to disguise the fraud.
In total, investigators say Vercher stole about $27,600 from Columbia County.
“The Columbia County Clerk’s Office remains committed to the highest standard of integrity and public trust, and this unfortunate situation does not represent the character or values of this office,” Columbia County Clerk of Courts James M. Swisher, Jr., said.
Vercher was booked into the Columbia County Jail on Thursday with a $55,000 bond. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office, Eighth Judicial Circuit.
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