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Woman accused of stealing $153K from a Naples non-profit

Naples Police Department
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 21, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — The Naples Police Department says a woman stole more than $153,000 from Naples Ballet, a non-profit organization.

The investigation started on December 5, 2022 when the owner of the organization contacted police. The owner said more than $100,000 was fraudulently taken through a "complex fraud scheme."

Police say Nicole Christine Saunders, the office manager, orchestrated it over the course of four years.

Through the investigation, police say she created a fake company. Saunders allegedly used the company name to process payments for credit cards belonging to Naples Ballet. There were 298 transactions, and police say she stole $153,969.84 from 2019 to 2022.

Detectives say the money was credited to a PayPal account she controlled. That's when police say she used the account to get cash advances at a casino totaling $134,643.19.

On May 20, 2024, police arrested Saunders and charged her with scheme to defraud, grand theft of over $100,000 and criminal use of personal identification information.