BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kaitlynn Marie Smith, 26, was arrested yesterday morning and charged with stealing over $56,000 from Verdant Cove Apartments by adding her name to money orders and checks and then depositing them to her personal account.
An investigation by Alachua County Sheriff’s Office found that Smith added her name to checks and money orders between September of 2020 and March of 2021, totaling $56,143.52. The investigation notes that the charges only include the checks that could be verified as having been written to Verdant Cove and deposited to Smith’s account.
Post Miranda, Smith reportedly denied at first that she deposited any Verdant Cove checks into her personal account. Once she was presented with evidence, she reportedly admitted to depositing “between 30 and 100” Verdant Cove checks to her personal account. She reportedly said her manager told her that if a prospective tenant made a deposit and then later decided not to sign a lease, they “surrendered” their deposits and she could keep them “if the tenant didn’t come make a big deal about it.”
Smith has been charged with 141 counts of forging/altering money orders or checks, 141 counts of uttering forged/altered money orders or checks, one count of grand theft over $20,000, and one count of scheme to defraud of $50,000 or more.
Smith has no criminal history; her bond is pending first appearance, but court documents indicate that her bond of $100 per count may be waived and she will be released on her own recognizance with GPS monitoring and other conditions.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.