The Family Life Center in Flagler County provides no-cost services to families
that are experiencing domestic violence by providing emergency shelter
and support services for the victims of domestic violence.
Unfortunately for the center, an employee related to the center’s
director, took advantage of her relationship to receive financial gain
at the center’s expense.
Patricia Wasmuth, the sister of Diana Kindt, the fired director of the
Family Life Center in Flagler County, was found guilty of third-degree
felony grand theft by Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano on Tuesday.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, in the October nonjury trial, the 52-year-old Wasmuth, was both portrayed
as a domestic violence victim who was being prosecuted just because she
was Kindt’s sister, and also as an individual who knew how the shelter
worked and took advantage financially of her knowledge.
Wasmuth worked as a book keeper for the shelter, earning $38,000 annually,
and therefore knew the rules and regulations of the shelter. Because of
this, prosecutors argued that Wasmuth knew she was not entitled to live
free for seven months in transitional housing, and that when she accepted
a check for $599 she was not entitled to from the center, and used a car
donated to the center to receive a $500 trade-in on her own personal vehicle,
she was guilty of grand theft.
Judge Zambrano, however, disagreed with prosecutors and did not find her
guilty of grand theft related to the housing and the $599 check, but did
find her guilty for using the donated vehicle as a trade-in for her personal
vehicle. “Her actions in receiving monies from the FLC for work
allegedly not performed, and her receiving transitional housing services
without having to pay for them, while morally reprehensible, are not actions
that constitute theft,” Zambrano stated.
Wasmuth’s crime of third-degree felony grand theft is punishable
by a maximum of five years in prison. Her sentencing date has not been
set, but is expected towards the latter part of January, 2013.