Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville credit union manager to plead guilty, pay restitution of nearly $230,000

Jennifer H. Hoefler stole nearly $230,000 to support a drug habit, officials say. 

Jennifer H. Hoefler stole nearly $230,000 to support a drug habit, officials say. 

BROOKSVILLE — When authorities arrested Jennifer H. Hoefler in March, investigators said the Brooksville branch manager at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union had stolen at least $49,000 from customers to support a prescription drug habit.

It turns out Hoefler siphoned nearly five times that amount from about 19 account holders, according to a plea agreement the 41-year-old Floral City resident signed this month.

Hoefler is scheduled to plead guilty on Sept. 19 in U.S. District Court in Tampa to one count of bank fraud. She faces up to 30 years in prison.

As part of the agreement, Hoefler must pay restitution to the credit union of $229,754.50.

Federal prosecutors have agreed to make a favorable sentencing recommendation to the court if she agrees to the conditions, but just how much prison time Hoefler will get was unclear Monday.

It's also unclear how much money and assets Hoefler has on hand to pay the restitution. Hoefler's attorney, Jeffrey Cario of Brooksville, was unavailable for comment Monday, an assistant said.

From about January 2011 to her arrest on March 19, Hoefler used a variety of methods to steal money from customer accounts, court documents show. She made unauthorized cash withdrawals. She drew up cashier's checks and then forged the names of the account holders to cash them. In a more elaborate scheme, Hoefler wired money between different accounts to make it appear that customers were paying vendors from their business accounts, then withdrew the wired funds herself.

Among the victims were the two customers who reported to credit union officials that money was missing from three accounts they share. Investigators say Hoefler stole $49,125 from those accounts between Sept. 25, 2012, and Feb. 13 in transaction amounts ranging from $100 to $5,000.

Just before her arrest, investigators say, Hoefler took $1,000 more. That day, detectives found $750 in cash in a Suncoast envelope on the front seat of her car and 17 oxycodone pills in her purse. Hoefler used the cash to pay for pills earlier that day, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

Hoefler was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. Records show that case is still pending in circuit court.

The arrest and subsequent dismissal came as a shock to Suncoast officials, who described Hoefler as a model employee who started with the company in 1993.

The initial findings prompted an internal investigation that is now complete, and the affected account holders have been reimbursed, said Suncoast's president and chief executive officer, Tom Dorety. All of the affected account holders were based at the Brooksville branch, Dorety said.

"We did a full analysis and have come up with ways of improving the security of the credit union," he said. He declined to provide specifics.

The credit union has liability insurance to cover at least some of the losses, Dorety said. As for receiving restitution from Hoefler, he said: "We'd love to see some of these funds back, but we're not expecting to get a significant amount in the near future."

Suncoast has 53 locations in Florida, mostly along the west coast from Chiefland south to Naples. A second Hernando branch is in Spring Hill.

Reach Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

Brooksville credit union manager to plead guilty, pay restitution of nearly $230,000 08/26/13 [Last modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse

    National

    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  2. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]
  3. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan

    War

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  4. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    His attorney said Jason Jerome Springer, 39, just talked, and there was “no true threat.”


  5. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments

    Editorials

    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.