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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
22 Jul 2023

NextImg:Woman Admits to Stealing Over $70,000 From Homeless Individuals in Government Checks

A former employee of a San Diego homeless center pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud July 20 for stealing over $70,000 in government checks meant for the homeless.

Charisse Elaine Alexander, 55, worked at the San Diego Day Center for Homeless Adults—also known as the Neil Good Day Center—in April 2021, where she stole checks with the assistance of her then-boyfriend until January 2023, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ms. Alexander agreed to make full restitution for the $73,466.43 stolen, authorities reported Thursday.

“This crime victimized dozens of individuals, many of whom may not know that they had their checks stolen,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in the press release. “This defendant exploited a position of trust and caused financial hardship to those least able to go without their retirement benefits, veteran’s pensions, tax returns, and public aid.”

The two schemed to steal 66 government-issued checks—abusing Ms. Alexander’s access to the center’s mailroom—that were sent to the center by mail for unhoused individuals, authorities said.

The two would then forge signatures of the intended recipients and deposit the checks into their personal bank accounts. Later, they withdrew the money via various ATMs—many near or inside casinos—in California and Nevada.

Ms. Alexander’s crimes were ultimately discovered by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.

“Ms. Alexander preyed upon a vulnerable community and her criminal actions deprived them of their vital Social Security benefits,” said Inspector General for the Social Security Administration Gail Ennis in the press release. “My office will continue to investigate those who conspire to steal the Social Security benefits of others for their own gain.”