Lake Wales, Florida – The Lake Wales Police Department has arrested Melanie Anne Stevens (DOB: 06/16/61) of Lime Tree Lane, Lakeland. Stevens is being charged with the criminal offense of (3 counts) uttering forged instrument and (1 count) grand theft against her employer Huston Cadillac Buick GMC of Lake Wales.
Here is a redacted excerpt of the arrest affidavit.
It should be noted that this is an unedited report of facts by the Lake Wales Police Department. These facts are up for question and everyone is entitled to question the validity of facts by law enforcement in a court of law. The Daily Ridge does not rewrite these facts as some meanings or interpretations could be in error and change context. We hope readers appreciate being able to read the information and come to
“On 05/19/2022, Melanie Anne Stevens was arrested for the criminal offense of (3 counts) uttering forged instrument and (1 count) grand theft.
Huston Cadillac Buick GMC, located at 21301 Highway 27, employed the defendant, Melanie Stevens. Stevens was in the position of issuing checks and payments for the Tag and Title department. Stevens had access to the
dealership’s checks and had the authority to generate checks to be paid. Stevens was required to have all checks signed by the owner of the dealership, REDACTED before the checks were payable.
On 05/09/2022, Stevens generated a check, which was to be issued to a customer under Internal Control Number REDACTED. The check number was REDACTED, in the amount of $563.08. Stevens issued the check to herself by entering her name “Melanie Bevins” on the check. It was later discovered “Bevins” was Melanie Stevens maiden name. Stevens then signed the check herself and later deposited the check into her bank account at Mid Florida bank. Stevens failed to present the check to REDACTED for approval and did not make him aware of the check being issued.
On 05/18/2022, Stevens generated two separate checks. The first check which was to be issued to a customer under Internal Control Number REDACTED. The check number was REDACTED, in the amount of $106.98. Stevens issued the check to herself by entering her name “Melanie Bevins” on the check. The second check was to be issued to a
customer under Internal Control Number REDACTED. The check number was REDACTED, in the amount of $440.86.
Stevens issued the check to herself by entering her name “Melanie Bevins”. Stevens failed to present the checks to REDACTED for approval and did not make him aware of the check being issued.
On 05/18/2022, REDACTED was made aware of Stevens issuing a dealership check to herself and cashing the check on 05/09/2022. REDACTED also discovered Stevens issued two more dealership checks to herself on 05/18/2022. At the time of REDACTED discovering the forged checks, the two checks issued on 05/18/2022 had not been withdrawn from the dealership’s bank account, therefore REDACTED did not have a copy of
the issued checks.
On 05/19/2022, REDACTED responded to the Lake Wales Police Department to report the incident. REDACTED provided a copy of the check issued on 05/09/2022 and a copy of the two invoices for 05/18/2022. REDACTED provided a sworn taped statement confirming he did not provide Stevens with permission or consent to generate, issue or cash the above mentioned checks. REDACTED confirmed the signature on Check Number (REDACTED) which was issued on 05/09/2022, was not his signature.”
On 05/19/2022, I responded to 21301 Highway 27, to meet with Melanie Stevens and REDACTED regarding the incident. I met with Stevens and conducted a non-custodial taped interview. Stevens was informed numerous times, she was free to leave at any time. Stevens willingly provided a statement regarding the incident.
Stevens willingly confessed to generating the above mentioned checks and depositing the checks into her Mid Florida bank account for her sole gain. Stevens alleged she was going through medical issues and needed money to pay for her procedures. Stevens confessed she knowingly and willingly accessed the dealership’s checks, generated the checks utilizing the customer’s account but wrote her name on the checks to have the funds issued to her. Stevens advised the amounts on the checks were the refund amounts to be issued to the customer for each account. Stevens confessed she then signed the checks herself. Stevens knew what she did was wrong and
was sorry for committing the act. Melanie Stevens passed or offered to pass as true, 3 Huston Cadillac Buick GMC dealership checks, Melanie Stevens knew the checks to be forged, and intended to injure or defraud some person or firm.
Melanie Stevens knowingly and unlawfully obtained or used the funds totally $1,110.92 belonging to REDACTED, she did so with the intent to, either temporarily or permanently deprive REDACTED of his right to the property or any benefit from it.
Due to the above statements and facts, Melanie Stevens was arrested for the criminal offense of (3 counts) uttering forged instrument and (1 count) grand theft.