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Friday, June 14, 2024

Stolen bail bond payments land Dunnellon woman behind bars

A 45-year-old Dunnellon woman who was transferred hundreds of dollars to bail another woman out of jail has been arrested on fraud and grand theft charges after she allegedly kept the money.

On April 14, 2024, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy spoke with a female victim who advised that while she was incarcerated at Marion County Jail, two women had contacted her daughter claiming that they were going to post bond for her. One of those women was identified as Karen Nicole Newman, according to the arrest report.

Karen Nicole Newman
Karen Nicole Newman, 45, of Dunnellon

The report stated that Newman and an unidentified accomplice requested that the victim’s daughter (referred to in the report as a witness) send them $895 via Cash App. Newman and the accomplice allegedly told the witness that this money would then be used to “bail the victim out.”

According to the victim’s statement, she never authorized Newman or anyone else to contact the witness regarding sending money via Cash App. The report stated that a relative of the victim eventually posted bond for her.

After being released from jail, the victim contacted Newman and the accomplice, demanding that they “give her back the money.” According to the victim, they both claimed that another individual “stole (the money) and spent it” before they could use the funds to bail the victim out of jail.

The report stated that on April 22, 2024, the victim told MCSO that she spoke with Newman again, and Newman allegedly agreed to “pay (the victim) back.” Records from the victim’s Cash App account showed that three separate payments had been made to Newman in March of 2024, in the amounts of $100, $700, and $95.

The witness spoke with investigators and confirmed that she had sent the above three payments to Newman via Cash App in March. She stated that Newman had called her after the payments were sent to confirm that the funds were received.

Upon further investigation, an MCSO deputy confirmed that an account belonging to Newman had received the three payments from the witness, which were all paid out on March 25, 2024.

The deputy noted in the report that Newman “misled the witness by falsely claiming she needed funds to bail out the victim.” Despite the claim, the deputy further noted that Newman “never contributed any money towards the victim’s bail,” which indicated “an intent to deceive the witness into giving her money.”

On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, Newman was located and placed under arrest. After being read her Miranda rights, Newman admitted to receiving the $895 in her account, and she claimed that she had told the victim that she would pay the money back.

Newman was transported to Marion County Jail, where she is currently being held on a $5,000 bond. She is being charged with larceny – grand theft (over $750 but less than $5,000) and cheating or gross fraud.

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