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Don't try this at home: Spring Hill woman admits to paying electric bill with fake $50,000 money order

Latoya Villagomez   Courtesy Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Latoya Villagomez Courtesy Hernando County Sheriff's Office
Published Aug. 23, 2018

SPRING HILL — The Withlacoochee River Electrical Cooperative got a strange piece of mail this week: A $50,000 money order meant to pay an outstanding electrical bill. And it was fake.

On Monday, Hernando County Sheriff's deputies said, the woman who admitted sending the counterfeit money order was arrested on a fraud charge.

Latoya Villagomez, 35, is charged with uttering a forged instrument, a felony.

She mailed the money order to a Withlacoochee River Electrical Cooperative office in a different county, deputies said. That office forwarded it to the Hernando County office, where employees "were familiar with the customer's account."

Agents at the U.S. Secret Service Financial Crimes office in Tampa confirmed the money order was counterfeit, deputies said.

Deputies questioned Villagomez, who said she created the money order on her home computer, printed it out and mailed it.

Villagomez's electrical bill was only $248, deputies said. She had hoped the company would keep the rest of the $50,000 on credit and use it instead of billing her each month.