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Katherine Whiffen, Former Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s Deputy, Charged with Embezzlement

Katherine Whiffen, a former Broward County, Florida sheriff’s deputy, was charged with embezzlement recently after she allegedly stole more than $40,000 from a Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, news sources report. Whiffen, 76, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on a charge of grand theft between $20,000 and $100,000. A county judge set her bail bond at $40,000. Thus far Whiffen does not appear to have spoken out about the charges, neither through herself or through a criminal defense lawyer.

According to reports, Whiffen worked for the Broward County Sheriff’s office for 22 years, She retired in January 2001. Sometime after her retirement, Whiffen became president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 53. A spokesperson for the FOP released a statement regarding the charges, saying that despite Whiffen having allegedly stolen money from them, they wish to remain neutral and “allow the legal system to work.”

Reports say that Whiffen embezzled funds continuously from 2008 to 2012. During that time, she allegedly stole $40,706 from the FOP. When members of the FOP learned of the missing money, they confronted Whiffen; however, reports say Whiffen fled that confrontation and was arrested sometime later. It is unclear whether the FOP members will file a lawsuit against Whiffen for the return of their allegedly stolen funds.

In other theft-related news, Wendy Richland, a Boca Raton, Florida landlord, was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly refused to return a large deposit on a room that was no longer available, reports say. Richland, 57, was booked into police custody on charges of larceny of less than $10,000 from a person 65 or older and a parole violation. It is unclear whether she qualified for bail or hired legal representation.

Richard is reportedly a landlord and had listed a room for rent on Craigslist. An elderly couple contacted Richland and inquired about renting the room on behalf of their adult daughter, who, according to reports, suffers from an unspecified disability. Richland reportedly agreed to rent the room, and she also agreed to accept artwork as part of the deposit. The couple paid the deposit with a $50 check and $325 worth of artwork; a description of the type and quantity of the artwork is not available.

Sometime after having made the agreement and received the payment, Richland allegedly contacted the elderly couple and told them the room was no longer available. Reports say Richards refused to return the deposit despite the circumstances. The couple called police and Richland was arrested shortly afterwards. It is currently unclear whether the victims got their artwork back.

Reports say this is not the first time Richard has been accused of stealing a deposit. In 2009, she was arrested after she accepted two payments of $2,400 and $1,800 from two victims as prepaid rent for a home. Richards allegedly rented the home to someone else, but refused to give the victims their money back. The victims called police and prosecutors later charged Richland with two counts of grand theft in that case; she pled no contest to those charges, reports say.

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