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Tampa woman accused of laundering $25K from non-profit

The 21-year-old woman allegedly entered unworked hours under a former employee's name and received the money in a separate bank account.
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Zaria Walker, 21, arrested for fraudulently stealing money while charged with a non-profit organization's payroll, the sheriff's office reports.

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa woman is facing multiple charges after she was accused of fraudulently stealing more than $25,000 while working for a non-profit organization.

Zaria Walker, 21, is charged with three counts of false entry in books of a business entity, fraudulent use of personal information over $5,000 or 10 but less than 20 victims and second-degree grand theft, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Walker was hired as a contract employee at Phoenix House on Aug. 16, 2022. It's a non-profit that helps people struggling with substance abuse. Shortly after she began working as a payroll administrator there, between Nov. 25 and Dec. 12, Walker entered unworked hours for an employee who no longer worked for the non-profit and had the money deposited in a bank account she opened using a third person's personal information, the sheriff's office reports.

Detectives were able to link the bank account to Walker who in total laundered, $25,103, authorities said in a news release. She was arrested on May 18.

"It's disgusting to think that this person used her smarts and skills to steal money from an organization that works to save people from addiction," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. "She was trusted to pay the hard-working employees at the Phoenix House; instead, she worked the system to fatten her bank account."

Walker's bond was set at $16,000. The 21-year-old was able to post bond and was released on May 20.

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