Cathy Cecilia Perez of Sunrise, Florida was arrested Monday after she was accused of writing fraudulent checks using her former employer’s signature, news sources report. Perez, 36, was booked into police custody on one count of grand theft and 88 counts of fraud for uttering a false instrument. Her bail bond for those charges was set at $93,000, but even if she posts bail she will not be released, as she is also being held on no bail for a probation violation. Thus far, no defense lawyer has spoken out on Perez’s behalf.
Reports say Perez formerly worked as a secretary at a legal aid office for landlords and tenants called Charles Simon, P.A., which is located on North University Drive. From August 3 to March 18, 2012, Perez allegedly used a stamp of the attorney’s signature to forge checks. “It’s a mess, I should have caught it sooner,” the office attorney said. “She took my pleading stamp with my name on it and just decided to use it whenever she wanted, to write checks to herself — checks for rent, checks for bars, checks for all kinds of things, to the tune of nearly $57,000.”
According to reports, Perez stopped going to work without formally resigning on March 12. The attorney claims Perez said she was going to leave early to pick her kids up at school, but never returned. “She just ran off the job,” the attorney said. “She never came back, never returned calls, never returned texts.”
A few days later, the attorney went to check his Bank of America account and discovered that someone had been cashing fraudulent checks using his account. The next Monday, Perez allegedly went to the Bank of America bank and tried to cash a check for $906. A bank manager found that Perez’s check was linked to the attorney’s account, which had been put on alert, and called police.
Detective arrived at the bank and placed Perez under arrest. During questioning, Perez reportedly confessed to “signing and cashing” checks under the attorney’s name. “The defendant admitted to using the money to pay her bills and other everyday living expenses,” a police report says.
In other news, Edward Callahan of West Palm Beach was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly convinced a 16-year-old girl to send him naked pictures of herself in exchange for monetary compensation, sources report. Callahan, 59, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on 62 counts of possession of obscene material, 62 counts of destroying evidence, and using a computer to solicit a child. His bail was set at $186,000. It is unclear whether he has hired legal representation.
According to reports, Callahan originally met the girl and “[helped] her out by sending [her] money as a friend.” However, at some point, the victim claims the money stopped and Callahan ordered the girl to send him pictures of herself naked if she wanted more. The girl reportedly sent Callahan five nude photographs, for which Callahan paid $1,500, reports say.
Detectives learned of the alleged activity in August 2012 and searched Callahan’s home on December 11. During that search, Callahan admitted to having chat conversations with the girl. “He felt sorry for her and was trying to help her out,” a police report said. Callahan reportedly denied receiving images of the girl naked.