Volusia Co. Human Services employee accused of stealing dead client's identity

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A Volusia County Human Services employee faces grand theft and fraud charges after investigators said she used her position to steal the financial assistance of a client who died.

On Thursday, as Volusia County workers gathered to celebrate the retirement of their first county chairman, one employee was just bonding out of jail.

County media representatives refused to comment on the arrest of Dawn Jackson, who's accused of grand theft and fraud by stealing the identity of a needy Volusia County woman.

Police said the victim whose identity was used went to the County Administration Center for help. Only after she died did she become the victim of a woman paid to help her, authorities said.

"She knew the name that Jackson used was the name of a former client who is now deceased, and she was able to manipulate the system in such a way she was able to redirect some funds to pay her own rent and utilities," said Brandon Haught of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

"For someone to take the money after someone dies because they work here and use it for themselves, it's not right," said Human Services client Shawna Wilson.

There was no answer at Jackson's home, a house authorities said was partially paid for with at least $1,500 in stolen tax dollars, according to Chanel 9's Steve Barrett.

It's money clients of the Human Services Office said should have gone to the truly needy.