News


FDLE arrests five in scheme to steal child support funds

6/18/2007
 
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested five people involved in a scheme to divert money from a child support fund. An employee of a company sub-contracted by the Department of Revenue (DOR) to manage and disburse the funds has been identified as the mastermind behind the scheme which used women already receiving child support as co-conspirators.

In May, DOR's Office of Inspector General found suspicious disbursements from an account that holds child support payments that for various reasons have gone unclaimed. FDLE was asked to investigate what appeared to be criminal diversion of funds from the account. That investigation led to Anthony Purvis, an employee of People Really Working Together (PRWT), a firm sub-contracted to manage child support payments for the Department of Revenue.

The investigation also identified four women as recipients of money paid out from the account after Purvis allegedly solicited them to participate in the scheme. The women were already receiving child support payments legitimately and had accounts through which the money could be routed.

Because of his job with PRWT, Purvis knew how to initiate a process to move money from the account to someone who was pre-authorized to receive child support through DOR. All he needed was willing participants to receive the checks then split the money with Purvis. Altogether, more than $20,000 in illegal payments was made.

Charged in connection with the scheme are:
Anthony Purvis, 29, Tallahassee
Arrested on 6/18/07 and charged with 17 counts of grand theft and two counts of petit theft.

Katina Lockwood, 27, Tallahassee
Arrested on 6/10/07 and charged with 11 counts of grand theft.

Leticia Lockwood, 28, Tallahassee
Arrested on 6/15/07 and charged with one count of grand theft.

Latarsha Hampton, 31, Tallahassee
Arrested on 6/11/07 and charged with three counts of grand theft, two counts of petit
theft.

Shontavia Munningham, 24, Tallahassee
Arrested on 6/11/07 and charged with one count of grand theft.

For more information, contact:
Dana Green
FDLE/Tallahassee Regional Operations Center
(850) 410-7577

Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Public Information Office
(850) 410-7001