News and Commentary

Florida City Employee Arrested For Stealing City Funds To Get Butt Lift

A Gainesville, Florida city employee stole $93,000 from the city, and more than 10% of the money went toward a vital measure: getting her a Brazilian butt lift.

According to a Gainesville city report, Natwaina Clark, 33, also used city money for a “large” TV. She was arrested on March 28 and charged with larceny and scheme to defraud. The city had fired her on March 21, while she was on a cruise ship vacation.

The Gainesville Sun reported:

Clark, 33, charged her city-issued credit card 136 times for roughly $61,000 in unauthorized charges, used her bosses’ cards at least 36 more times for an additional $31,000, and spent nearly $900 on a coworker’s card five times between November 2015 and March 2017.

Clark put roughly $41,000 of the stolen money into her personal PayPal account, which was linked to her bank account; $8,500 was paid for a Brazilian butt lift.

The auditor’s report said Clark explained her “likely noticeable condition of living beyond her means” by telling coworkers a boyfriend who “bought her things.” She went as far as sending an “Edible Arrangements” bouquet to her office to pretend they were from the supposed boyfriend. But that $123.16 expense was later found on her city-issued Visa card.

Clark’s actions were only discovered after the city’s parks, recreation and cultural affairs department was discovered to have overspent its budget.

That prompted Russ Etling, the city’s cultural affairs manager, to ask Clark about her purchases. When Etling pointed out that multiple payments seemed to go toward her PayPal account, Clark answered: “Yeah, where’s my money?”

The auditor’s report, conducted by City Auditor Carlos Holt, found some fault with Etling and PRCA Director Steve Phillips for not acting adequately enough in the situation.

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