Former Bookkeeper Charged with Embezzling over $3 Million from Law Firm Former Employer
NEWARK, N.J. – A Florida woman was charged with wire fraud after she stole over $3 million from the law firm where she worked as a bookkeeper, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Janet Lee Blissitt, 66, of Margate, Florida, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud. Blissitt was arrested earlier this morning and made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, federal court. She was released on $150,000 bond.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Blissitt worked as a bookkeeper and assistant at a law firm in Boca Raton, Florida. She had access to several of the firm’s business bank accounts, including the firm’s client trust accounts. Starting in October 2021 and continuing through March 2022, Blissitt transferred money from several of the law firm’s business accounts to her personal account and other business bank accounts in New Jersey and Ohio. Blissitt would sometimes falsely note that the purpose of the transfers was to pay fees. Blissitt embezzled an estimated $3 million from the law firm.
The wire fraud charge has a maximum term of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim, whichever is greatest.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger in Newark and Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith in Cleveland, Ohio, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Boca Raton Police Services Department for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.