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Deputies: Port Charlotte man stole over $90k from scholarship fund

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:24 pm | Updated: 5:50 pm, Thu Jul 18, 2013.

SARASOTA COUNTY - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a former member of the Englewood Masonic Lodge that they say stole more than $90,000 from the group’s scholarship fund.

The investigation began in May when 59-year-old Michael Cripps of Port Charlotte contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report himself for the ongoing crime. Detectives contacted the Lodge and learned Cripps was the sole person with access to the account. Financial records showed that since July 2007, Cripps cashed checks and made unauthorized personal purchases totaling $92,563.70.

Cripps turned himself in Thursday morning and is charged with felony Scheme to Defraud. He is currently being held on $50,000 bond.

This is at least the fourth arrest this year of someone who stole a significant amount of money from their employer, church or organization.

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