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Sunday, June 26, 2022
METRO  |  CRIME

GPD: City employee defrauded department of more than $91,000

Generic Crime
Generic Crime

A Gainesville city employee was arrested Tuesday for stealing more than $91,000 from the city, Gainesville Police said.

Natwaina Sharee Clark

Natwaina Sharee Clark

Natwaina Sharee Clark, 33, who worked for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department for nearly two years, used a credit card assigned to her by the department and a co-worker’s credit card to make $91,598 in fraudulent purchases, according to an arrest report. The purchases began in November 2015, three months after she was hired, and included gift cards and payments to other accounts.

When an audit was conducted, two city employees in the department realized it went over budget, according to the report. Clark’s purchases were discovered when the employees found receipts and department paperwork Clark submitted, police said. Officers also found videos of Clark making some of the fraudulent purchases.

Detectives have uncovered 169 fraudulent purchases so far and searched her home Wednesday for items, finding mostly electronics, said GPD spokesperson Officer Ben Tobias. The investigation into Clark’s purchases is ongoing.

Clark was fired March 22 for violating the employee code of conduct, said Bob Woods, the city’s communication and marketing director. He said the city is also running an internal investigation into Clark’s purchases.

“The city is intent on using every tool possible to uncover the full extent of this,” Woods said.

Police arrested Clark on charges of grand theft scheming to defraud and obtain property. Authorities took her to the Alachua County Jail, where she was released on a $20,000 bond.

Clark could not be reached for comment.

Contact Meryl Kornfield at mkornfield@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @MerylKornfield

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