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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 24, 2019

St. Lucie County Resident Pleads Guilty to Orchestrating Wire Fraud Scheme and Embezzling Employers

Sabrinea Lallonie Brooks, 28, of St. Lucie County, Florida, pled guilty to participating in a wire fraud scheme and embezzling funds from employers.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, and Javaro Sims, Chief, Delray Beach Police Department, made the announcement.

Brooks pled guilty to a criminal Information charging: seven counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; one count of access device fraud, in in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(5);and one count of forged security, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 513(a) (Case No. 19-CR-14020).  The guilty plea was entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek M. Maynard, in Ft. Pierce.  Brooks is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg on July 26, 2019, in Ft Pierce.  She faces up to 20 years in prison per count of wire fraud, up to 15 years in prison for access device fraud, and 10 years in prison for the forged security conviction.  In addition, Brooks faces up 5 years of supervised release and must pay restitution to the victims of the fraudulent scheme.

According to the criminal Information and a Stipulated Factual Basis filed with the Court, between February 2014 through December 2015, Brooks was employed as a billing and collections specialist by companies Apex Billing, LLC, Dream Center for Recovery, Supportive Healthcare Services, and Wellness Center of Palm Beach, LLC.  Brooks without authorization, contacted third party issuer agents of insurance companies and using fraudulent pretenses and making materially false representations, caused the third party issuer agents of insurance companies to give her treatment provider registration codes, pin numbers, and links.  Brooks used this information to access the third party issuer agents’ website, to create new user accounts, to re-register treatment providers, and change the method of payment and/or the routing of insurance provider payments, intended for treatment providers.  As a result of her wire fraud, Brooks received at least $463,402.30 in illegal proceeds.         

While working for these companies, Brooks also intercepted “Vpayments”/ virtual credit cards issued as insurance payments to several treatment providers. Thereafter, Brooks processed some of the “Vpayments”/ virtual credit cards using the Square merchant processing mobile payment program.  Brooks created several Square accounts, which she linked to bank accounts under her control.  Because of her access device fraud, Brooks received at least $57,632.76, in illegal proceeds.

While working for Wellness Center of Palm Beach, LLC, as a billing manager, Brooks also created a fraudulent company, and opened SunTrust Bank account, in the name of “Wellness Ctr of Palm Beach Billing LLC.”  Thereafter, Brooks deposited checks payable to Wellness Center of Palm Beach, LLC, into the SunTrust Bank account that were endorsed with her signature and a stamp listing her fraudulent billing company.  Because of her theft of Wellness Center of Palm Beach, LLC checks, Brooks received at least $352,521.72, in illegal proceeds.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigatory efforts of the USSS and Delray Beach Police Department in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated May 24, 2019