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Gainesville woman accused of stealing more than $87,000 from Dawsonville couple

A Gainesville woman has been charged with stealing more than $87,000 from a Dawsonville couple while she worked for their business as an office clerk. 

Joycelynne Cerqueria Defreitas, 25,was arrested Feb. 18 by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office on 82 counts, including 27 counts of exploiting, threatening or intimidating a disabled or elderly person; 27 counts of identity fraud; and 21 counts of forgery in the third degree.

Defreitas remains in the Dawson County Detention Center on $275,200 bond. 

Warrants from the Sheriff’s Office detail how Defreitas allegedly stole from the couple over the course of 23 different dates in 2021 and 2022 while employed as an office clerk for their business, which leases properties.

In total, the amounts add up to $87,542.02 stolen over a six-month period with most of the amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000, according to the warrants. 

Defreitas would take some of the couple’s blank business checks, forge checks then deposit them for her own use, according to the warrants. 

She stole more than her usual amount on Dec. 28, 2021 and Jan. 27, 2022, according to warrants. 

On. Dec. 28, she allegedly took $19,282.35 from the couple as well as forged and deposited a check for $2,000. Then, on Jan. 27, she took $25,488.66 from the couple and also forged and deposited another $2,000 check, according to warrants.

Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson reiterated that the suspect has been accused of “fraudulently forging checks to herself” while she was employed by the victims. 

“Obviously, the crime has been compounded by the fact that the [victims are] older and more vulnerable,” Johnson said. 

DCN will update this story.