A Florida woman who served as the director of the Humane Society of Nature Coast has been sentenced to prison for stealing more than a million in donations meant for the animal shelter, a social media release states.
According to the release, Susana Arneson appeared in Circuit Court before Judge Daniel Merritt Jr. for sentencing on charges of Money Laundering - Financial Transactions of $100,000 or more and Organized Fraud of $50,000 or more on October 12, 2023.
But Arneson didn't act alone; police say that the case against Susana's husband, Douglas O'Berry, is still pending.
Together the pair intercepted nearly $1.55 million in donations meant for the shelter and redirected those funds into various banking accounts that they had access to between January 31, 2020 and February 9, 2022. Arneson served as a Director, and later a volunteer, at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast at the time.
Investigations revealed that the stolen funds were used to purchase a variety of assets, including two residential properties, items for two businesses, two boats and trailers, two trucks, a Jeep Wrangler, a custom golf cart, a horse, and multiple other items within the home and garage of their residence.
Judge Merritt Jr. ultimately sentenced Arneson to 90 months with the Florida Department of Corrections with 611 days of credit for time served. Arneson has remained incarcerated at the Hernando County Detention Center since her initial arrest on February 9, 2022.
The amount of restitution owed for her crime is still pending.
In other law enforcement news, a Florida woman has been convicted for shooting her dogs more than 100 times with a BB gun. Read the full story here.
Article by Rachael Volpe