Woman stole city money to get butt lift, police say
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) - Police in Gainesville, Florida say a now former employee stole $93,000 from the city, using $8,500 on the cosmetic surgery.
A Gainesville city report released Wednesday said Natwaina Clark, 33, used taxpayers dollars for her cable television bill, food, highway tolls, a television and other expenses, including what's known as a “Brazilian butt lift.” Clark used her city issued Visa card for the purchases, according to police.
“It was discovered during a city audit and brought to our detective division,” said Gainesville Police Officer Ben Tobias.
Records show Clark started working for the city in August of 2015, and just three months later, she allegedly made her first unauthorized charge for a personal two-night hotel stay. According to those same records, Clark also snuck in a large TV, a small drone quadcopter, and renewed her SunPass several times.
“For a lot of it, there was an easy paper trail. For some of it, we had to uncover some layers, because a lot of the purchases were made to gift cards, things like that and PayPal accounts,” said Officer Tobias.
Investigators say she made a total of 177 unauthorized transactions using work Visa cards. When asked why these charges were not caught sooner, city spokesman Bob Woods said, “Obviously, there was a breakdown in internal controls and procedure. Management over site was not there.”
To make matters worse, records show the city knew Clark had been arrested twice on fraud charges.
“The City of Gainesville has over 2,000 employees. This one employee should not have been hired,” said Woods.
Woods says it’s unclear if anyone else will be fired. He says the City of Gainesville has changed their hiring criteria, and improved their over site of spending on city credit cards.
Clark was fired shortly before she was arrested last March 28 and charged with larceny and scheme to defraud. She has pleaded not guilty.