Lehigh Acres woman accused of fraudulently cashing checks from former employer

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Kristen Labrue
Kristen Labrue, 34. (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a woman they say fraudulently cashed checks from a Fort Myers dentistry office.

Deputies arrested Kristen Labrue, 34, of Lehigh Acres, on Thursday. She is facing seven counts of check fraud and grand theft of more than $20,000.

The sheriff’s office says they were notified of a possible check fraud incident by the owner of a dentist’s office in Fort Myers in November 2021. The owner told deputies that his bank had informed him that someone had tried cashing a check that had already been used.

Deputies say the business owner also noticed four fraudulent checks had already been cashed totaling $53,401. A report says the checks were cashed on several different occasions from June to August 2021, and the actual amount taken from the victim was $79,662.76.

The victim told deputies that he was the only one authorized to issue the checks and had not in this case.

According to a report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the checks were cashed in the names Westen Labrue and Kristen Lozano. Deputies say Westen Labrue was Kristen’s husband.

The sheriff’s office says Westen Labrue died in September 2021, and Kristen retained access to his bank account, making several withdrawals after he died despite not having ownership of the account.

An investigation determined that the handwriting on the checks from the dentist’s office matched Kristen Labrue, and the report says she used the last name Lozano on her Florida driver’s license in the past. Deputies also say video from one of the banks where the checks were cashed showed a woman who deputies recognized as Labrue.

The sheriff’s office was told by the victim that Labrue did the billing for the dentist’s office beginning in April 2021 until she stopped showing up for work in June 2021. The victim told them he noticed checks were missing after she stopped showing up.

Labrue is being held in the Lee County Jail without bond due to a failure to appear charge. She is expected to appear in court on September 27.

This is also not the first time Labrue has been accused of stealing money. In October 2021, she was arrested and accused of stealing $100,000 from The Colony at Pelican Landing Foundation.

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