Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville credit union manager charged with fraud dies

Jennifer Hoefler, 41, was facing up to 30 years in prison.

Jennifer Hoefler, 41, was facing up to 30 years in prison.

BROOKSVILLE — Jennifer Hoefler was set to face a judge next week and admit to stealing more than a quarter-million dollars from customers at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.

A prison sentence was expected to follow after the former Brooksville branch manager for the credit union pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. But on Monday, on what was likely one of her last days of freedom, Hoefler, 41, died at her Floral City home from what authorities determined to be natural causes.

Hoefler's husband, Herb, checked on her about 11 a.m. and realized she wasn't breathing, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said. She apparently died in her sleep. Hoefler had been struggling with medical problems, said her attorney, Jeffrey Cario.

Hoefler's death brings a tragic end to a sad case, said Suncoast Schools president and chief executive officer Tom Dorety. Her arrest in March and subsequent dismissal came as a shock to credit union officials, who described Hoefler as a model employee for nearly two decades.

"There are a lot of victims in this situation, and Jennifer was certainly one of them," Dorety said. "She was here a long time, so we're extremely sorry."

Last month, Hoefler signed an agreement with federal prosecutors and was scheduled to formally enter a guilty plea on Sept. 19 in U.S. District Court in Tampa. She faced up to 30 years in prison but would not have received that much time because she did not have a prior criminal record. Federal prosecutors planned to make a favorable sentencing recommendation if she agreed to certain conditions.

As part of the agreement, Hoefler was to pay restitution to the credit union of $229,754.50. Without a formal adjudication of guilt, however, there is no recourse for restitution, said William Daniels, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

From about January 2011 until her arrest on March 19, Hoefler used a variety of methods to steal money from customer accounts, court documents show, including unauthorized cash withdrawals and forged cashier's checks.

The episode prompted internal security changes at the credit union, Dorety said. Suncoast Schools reimbursed account holders, and liability insurance will cover at least some of the losses, he said.

"As far as remuneration is concerned, it was never top of mind for us," he said. "It was more about reinstating the trust of our members and making sure we took care of that exactly the way we should, which we've done."

Hoefler was "very respected by peers and colleagues until this matter arose," Cario said. "Her problems were a result of becoming addicted to prescribed pain medications due to her many health issues."

Hoefler's obituary describes her as a cheerful person who enjoyed reading and attending her children's softball and soccer games. She was a Girl Scout leader and active with the Suncoast for Kids Foundation in Hernando County.

Survivors include three children and a granddaughter. Visitation will be at 5 p.m. Friday at Brewer & Sons Funeral Home in Brooksville. The funeral will follow at 6 p.m.

Brooksville credit union manager charged with fraud dies 09/11/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  4. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  5. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.