Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Credit union manager jailed

BROOKSVILLE — For two decades, Jennifer Hoefler was viewed as a model employee for the Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.

Starting as teller in 1993, Hoefler worked her way up to manager of the branch in Brooksville, said Tom Dorety, the credit union's chief executive officer.

On Tuesday, the 41-year-old Floral City resident was arrested and charged with organized fraud after investigators determined she stole at least $49,125 from customer accounts over the past year to support a prescription drug habit.

"She's been a fine employee, so this is devastating for us from both a professional and a personal standpoint," Dorety said.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said a Suncoast corporate security officer contacted detectives Tuesday to report that a manager had been stealing from accounts since March 2012.

Among the victims were two customers who reported to credit union officials last week that money was missing from three accounts they share. They produced documents and signed sworn affidavits stating they did not withdraw the money or authorize anyone else to do so.

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. At least two transactions were in the form of Suncoast cashier's checks.

Hoefler admitted taking the money to support a prescription drug habit, the Sheriff's Office said.

Just before her arrest, investigators say, Hoefler took another $1,000. They found $750 in cash in her car.

"Hoefler advised she used the rest of the money to purchase illegal narcotics earlier that day," a Sheriff's Office news release said.

Hoefler was also charged with possession of oxycodone.

She was released Wednesday from the Hernando County Detention Center after posting $55,000 bail.

More fraud charges are expected, detectives said.

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

The two customers who came to credit union officials last week are members of the Brooksville branch, but Hoefler had access to customer information systemwide, Dorety said.

Credit union officials are working to determine the extent of losses other customers might have suffered.

"We'll identify every single individual who may have been harmed by this," Dorety said. "The members who were impacted will be made whole both directly and indirectly."

That means reimbursement for the original amount, plus any interest lost and transaction fees, he said.

The credit union has numerous internal controls to minimize the risk of fraud on the part of employees, Dorety said.

Still, he said, "We'll make sure we learn some lessons from this."

He said the credit union is ultimately responsible, but customers can help by closely monitoring accounts.

That's especially important for customers who carry large balances in accounts that see a lot of activity, he said.

Hoefler earned praise from co-workers, supervisors and customers alike, so the findings that resulted in her arrest and dismissal Tuesday hit the organization hard, Dorety said.

"Our members are the victims here, but so is the credit union," he said. "Our folks really liked her, and there was a level of trust."

Reach Tony Marrero at or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes and @hernandotimes on Twitter.

Credit union manager jailed 03/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County, various media outlets are reporting.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  2. Young male hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A juvenile male was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  3. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  4. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]
  5. Putin visits France, hopes to mend strained ties with West


    VERSAILLES, France — On a visit likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on Monday for what the newly-elected French leader said would be "demanding" talks on Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and other …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. Monday's meeting comes in the wake of the Group of Seven's summit over the weekend where relations with Russia were part of the agenda, making Macron the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the talks. [AP photo]