On August 10, 2015, a 53-year-old female suspect began fraudulently cashing checks from the retirement account of a 71-year-old victim. Ms. Brenda F. Johnson Washington cashed a total of five checks totaling $98,617 over a two month period of time. Ms. Washington was the niece of the victim’s deceased wife.
Relatives of the victim reported to police, Ms. Washington had forged a power of attorney in order to gain access to the victim’s CUNA Mutual Group retirement account. Once she had access to the account, she began getting withdrawals on the retirement account paid out to the victim. Several of the payments were physical checks which were deposited into her personal account, while two others were electronic deposits to her bank in South Carolina, using the forged power of attorney.
Additional charges were filed relating to the fraudulent filing of Florida vehicle registrations for sales amounts less than the actual purchase price for two motorcycles.
After the Lake City Police Department concluded its investigation, charges were filed and a nationwide warrant for her arrest was issued. Ms. Washington was arrested in South Carolina and extradited to the Columbia County Detention Facility on May 21, 2016 and held on a $65,000 bond.
Arrested: Brenda Faye Johnson Washington
Date of Birth: 11/11/1961
Address: 272 Hemmingway Lane
Ft. Mill, SC
Charges: Pass Counterfeit Instrument (FSS 831.02)
Grand Larceny (FSS 812.014.2b1)
Fraudulently Obtain Property (FSS 812.155.1)
Fraudulent Title Transfer (FSS 319.33.1e)
Failure to Remit Sales Tax (FSS 212.15.2b)