BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (9/12/13)--A former branch manager of Tampa, Fla.-based Suncoast Schools FCU, who was to plead guilty next week for stealing nearly $230,000 from the credit union's Brooksville branch, apparently died in her sleep Monday.
Jennifer Hoefler, 41, died at her Floral City home from what appeared to be natural causes. Her husband checked on her at about 11 a.m. and discovered she wasn't breathing. She had been struggling with medical problems, and her problems began when she became addicted to pain killers, her attorney told the Tampa Bay Times (Sept. 11).
Hoefler signed a plea agreement and was set to formally plead guilty to one count of bank fraud on Sept. 19 in a U.S. District Court in Tampa. She faced up to 30 years in prison but likely would have not received the maximum time because she had no prior criminal record. As part of the agreement, she was to pay nearly $229,755 in restitution.
The thefts occurred from January 2011 until her arrest on March 19 and involved unauthorized cash withdrawals and forged cashier's checks. She had been a model employee for nearly two decades, the credit union told the newspaper. The credit union reimbursed members and liability insurance will cover some of the losses.