Former Federal Correctional Officer Indicted For Making False Statements
Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Heather Lee Kussoff (31, Cape Coral) with making a false statement to a federal law enforcement agency. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the indictment and information presented in court, Kussoff worked as a correctional officer at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Sumter County. In 2014, she developed a personal relationship with an inmate at one of the penitentiaries. In direct violation of her job responsibilities and training, Kussoff corresponded with the inmate in a romantic capacity, shared extensive details of her personal life, and communicated directly with members of the inmate’s family. When confronted by federal authorities in March 2015, Kussoff lied under oath about the existence of the relationship and then abruptly resigned from the Bureau of Prisons.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.