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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Ocala woman jailed after victim discovers nearly $2,000 worth of fraudulent bank transactions

A 28-year-old Ocala woman was arrested after a female victim discovered nearly $2,000 worth of fraudulent bank transactions.

On Friday, May 13 at approximately 11:20 a.m., a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a residence on SW 108th Place in Ocala in reference to a fraud investigation. Upon arrival, the female victim stated that she had allowed for Desiree Elizabeth Gonce to move into her home in mid-January.

Desiree Elizabeth Gonce
Desiree Elizabeth Gonce

In the middle of March, the victim stated that she was checking her bank account and noticed the following unauthorized charges:

  • On March 7, a MoneyGram payment was sent to Texas in the amount of $202.99.
  • On March 7, a withdrawal was made in the amount of $403.25.
  • On March 9, a withdrawal was made in the amount of $403.25.
  • On March 11, a MoneyGram payment was sent to Texas in the amount of $353.19.
  • On April 14, a MoneyGram payment was sent to Texas in the amount of $403.99.

The total amount of these transactions was $1,766.67.

The victim contacted her bank to report the fraudulent charges. Her debit card was cancelled, a new card was issued, and the victim was initially refunded the total amount of the transactions. The bank launched a fraud investigation and determined that Gonce had committed at least one of the transactions.

The victim told the bank that Gonce was living with her at the time of those transactions, and the victim admitted that she had given her debit card’s password/PIN to Gonce with the intention that the card only be used for the following purchases: gas for the car, prescription medications, and groceries. The bank’s investigation determined that the victim was responsible, and the refunded money was recovered by the bank.

The MCSO report indicated that the victim received a new debit card, and another unauthorized transaction, in the amount of $203.25, was made on April 25. The new debit card was immediately cancelled by the victim.

On Friday, May 13, the deputy located Gonce at the residence and transported her to the MCSO southwest district office for an interview. Gonce spoke with a detective and admitted that she had used the victim’s debit card for multiple unauthorized transactions.

A criminal history search of Gonce revealed that she had prior theft convictions in Kansas in 2017, 2018, and 2019, according to the MCSO report.

Gonce was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where she is currently being held on $14,000 bond. She is facing felony charges for second degree petit theft (third or subsequent offense) and fraud (obtaining property under $20,000).

A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, June 14 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.