Collier County deputy charged with theft

Published: Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.

NAPLES, Fla. — A Collier County deputy faces theft charges after authorities say she collected thousands of dollars in childcare subsidies for adopted children no longer in her care.

The sheriff's office began investigating 40-year-old Sandra Lois Mendez in December after her ex-husband reported the extra deposits. She was arrested Friday on charges of scheming to defraud, petty theft and 13 counts of grand theft.

Authorities say Mendez adopted the children in 2001 and began receiving a monthly $305 subsidy. But when the children moved out in 2008, Mendez reportedly failed to tell the state Department of Children and Families and continued to receive the checks.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk says Mendez has been placed on administrative leave.

She was being held on $35,500.

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