Gulfcoast Girl Scouts’ employee charged with stealing nearly $85,000

Woman arrested by Sheriff’s Office following investigation that began in May

Stephanie M. Person. Photo courtesy Sheriff's Office
Stephanie M. Person. Photo courtesy Sheriff’s Office

A 42-year-old Sarasota woman was arrested by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 31 on charges that she allegedly stole nearly $85,000 from Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, the office has announced.

Detectives began their investigation in May after the CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida reported about $77,000 missing from the nonprofit organization’s account, a news release says. Stephanie Person of 2533 Arapaho St. in Sarasota, who served as the organization’s member services coordinator, “was immediately identified as a possible suspect since she handled troop funds and banking,” the release adds.

“The investigation revealed that although Person was responsible for the management of 500 individual troops, she [allegedly] had been using an inactive troop account to transfer money to herself,” the release explains.

“Electronic evidence and surveillance photos from various banks throughout Sarasota County confirmed Person had withdrawn nearly $85,000 in troop funds,” the release notes. “She admitted to detectives that she was having financial hardships and when she realized how easy it was to take the money, she could not stop,” the release adds.

Detectives charged Person on Aug. 31 with Grand Theft and Scheme to Defraud. She was being held at the Sarasota County Jail on $9,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing, the release says.

The headquarters for the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota.