Tammy Lynn Hopkins Lysak of Deerfield Beach, Florida was arrested on September 27 for allegedly stealing more than $400,000 from her employer over a period of two years.
Lysak, 52, faces charges for criminal use of personal identification information, grand theft, and organized fraud. Court records show she has also violated the terms of her probation for a 2008 grand theft conviction in Palm Beach County. The press did not name an attorney for Lysak.
According to the arrest report, Lysak was employed as a personal assistant to a man from Lighthouse Point whose identify has not been released. She purportedly worked in her employer’s home in the 2300 block of NE 25th Street and had access to his signature stamp and bank account.
Between January 2015 and May 2017, Lysak allegedly made 57 unauthorized withdrawals from her employer’s bank account totaling $414,750. Lysak deposited the money in her personal bank account, her American Express account, and Florida Power & Light. $397,230 of the total amount stolen was paid to American Express, the report said.
The victim was unaware of the alleged embezzlement until June this year, when he noticed a $9,879 check from his account was written to and later withdrawn by Lysak. His bank reportedly provided surveillance photos showing Lysak accessing the account via an ATM.
“We’re very proud of Detective Andrew Gianino’s work on this large-scale embezzlement fraud case,” Commander Jack Vaccaro of the Lighthouse Point Police Department told the press. “His lengthy investigation led to presenting three felony criminal charges to the state attorney’s office.”
Another embezzlement case was reported in Fort Lauderdale on September 21. Gerard Anthony Brady of Palm Beach County was arrested for allegedly embezzling at least $5,000 from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Brady, 34, was an employee of the agency until March this year.
Brady was charged with theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. He pleaded not guilty in federal court on September 18 and was released on $100,000 bond. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to the court records, the alleged theft occurred between January 2016 and December 2016. Brady, who was hired in 2010, worked as a forfeiture coordinator for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. He was in charge of overseeing money and property confiscated by police using asset forfeiture laws.
“As police forfeiture coordinator, Brady’s duties at the police department included storing and caring for confiscated and seized property, coordinating the deposit of confiscated and seized monies, and overseeing vessels, places, vehicles, and other property seized by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” federal prosecutors said.
Asset forfeiture laws are controversial because they allow law enforcement to seize property from persons suspected of committing crimes without necessarily charging them with wrongdoing. Property subject to seizure is broadly defined and can include practically anything a person can own.
Brady’s alleged theft of $5,000 was discovered by the IRS. If convicted, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.