Former Florida Police Officer Charged with Fraud After Allegedly Stealing Deceased Man's Credit Card
Written by: Sam Orlando
OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A former St. Cloud police officer, Dianna Ferreira, has been dismissed from her position and is facing fraud charges after allegations arose that she exploited the credit card details of a deceased man whose emergency call she had attended to. The St. Cloud Police Department and Osceola County Sheriff's Office reported the case.
The incident traces back to April 3, 2023, when the 25-year-old patrol officer responded to a distress call from a man experiencing severe breathing difficulties. The man was discovered unresponsive and passed away the subsequent day, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
On April 14, the man's widow contacted the St. Cloud Police after discovering suspicious transactions on her late husband's credit cards. The unauthorized charges included expenses for fuel, a fast-food restaurant order, and a hotel room. Two additional attempted transactions - for fuel and a business specializing in eyelash extensions - were cancelled, authorities reported.
"The charges began on April 4, the day after her husband's death," the authorities stated.
Using the descriptions of the suspect vehicle, officers identified Ferreira's personal car. Upon investigation, Ferreira confessed to taking photographs of the man's credit cards while on duty and subsequently linking the credit card details to various applications on her cellphone.
St. Cloud Police Chief Douglas Goerke expressed his shock and dismay over the incident. "Absolutely appalled that someone would do something like that. We work so hard to build that trust," he remarked.
In a symbolic display of justice served, Goerke announced, "We arrested her with her handcuffs. I think it’s very important that the community knows that. This is a direct insult to us."
Ferreira had joined the St. Cloud Police force in 2022, having previously served at the Orange County Jail. Her record with the St. Cloud Police Department was clean with no prior disciplinary actions.
Goerke expressed regret over the incident. "I offer my sincerest apologies to the victim of these acts," he said. "This Department and its staff are held to the highest standards and expectations by the residents of this City, and keeping the community’s trust is paramount."
Further investigations revealed that Ferreira was undergoing eviction and was subject to a lawsuit filed by a management company for alleged non-payment of rent. Breaking Through's attempts to contact the former officer for comment were unsuccessful.