Lo’Neija Brandon

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A DeSoto County Sheriff’s detention deputy was arrested on grand theft and fraud charges on Thursday.

An investigation by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office found that Deputy Lo’Neija Brandon, 24, was allegedly involved in defrauding the Suncoast Federal Credit Union in May.

She emptied her accounts prior to the fraudulent activity on her account, which indicates an organized scheme, the arrest report states.

According to the investigation, another individual, Kharahn Gay, used Brandon’s card to conduct fraudulent transactions.

A warrant was issued for Gay, but upon reviewing documents, investigators found that Brandon could have been involved.

Photographs showed that Brandon took money out of the account during the time that the fraudulent activity took place. Brandon didn’t place any money in the account, therefore she withdrew a portion of the fraudulent money.

When questioned by detectives, Brandon denied involvement with the scheme and contradicted her own statements. She eventually admitted to withdrawing money from an account that did not belong to her.

When a detective attempted to contact Brandon at work, she said her boyfriend was in a car accident, and left work before her shift ended to avoid further questioning, police say.

A warrant was issued for her arrest on felony charges of defrauding a financial institution and grand theft.

“All of our deputies and support personnel are placed in positions of authority and great trust,” said DeSoto County Sheriff James Potter in a statement. “As a result, we hold them to the highest standard and fully expect them to follow the law as well as enforce it … This type of disregard for the oath and promise to uphold our laws will not be tolerated by anyone who is working at the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.”

Brandon turned herself in to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, and was released from her duties with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. She was booked into the Charlotte County Jail.


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