Woman will serve ten years for embezzlement of Pink Hearts Fund

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Today a woman was sentenced to ten years in prison after embezzling over $265,000 from a local nonprofit organization.

“I’m very pleased with the verdict. I needed this for closure, I had to have this.” For 22 months now, JoAn Nicely has been waiting for Melinda Rosetti-Spence’s sentencing day. Back in April, Rosetti-Spence pled guilty to embezzling nearly $267,000 from the Pink Heart Funds which gives wigs and prostheses to cancer patients. “We never knew, never had a clue that anything like that was going on.”

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Rosetti-Spence served as treasurer of the nonprofit organization for almost two years before a check bounced and revealed her scheme in August 2016. “The banker said, no you need to get here now and you do not need to talk to Melinda Rosetti-Spence.”

The investigation concluded that Rosetti-Spence had signed 132 checks to herself. She used white-out to change the payee’s name to wig companies to cover her tracks after the checks cleared the bank. “We were shown false statements, false bank statement, everything was false. She had perfected the use of white-out.”

In court, Rosetti-Spence blamed her gambling addiction for her actions. “Everything was meticulous, even if it was a gambling addiction, she knew what she was doing because she was covering it up.”

Nicely says that although she was severely let down by someone she thought she could trust, she is ready to let go and move one. “With the community, the cancer survivors and everyone coming forward to help, the victory has won. We are Pink Heart Fund strong and we are going to stay that way.”

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Veronica Bayona joined the News25 team all the way from Miami. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelors of Science in Broadcast Media. During her time at FIU, she freelanced with the South Florida News Service and had her work featured on the Sun Sentinel. Veronica also interned with Revolution Radio and WGEN-TV. During her senior year at FIU she served as the main anchor on Biscayne Bay News. Previously, Veronica interviewed big Hollywood stars from the movies Step Up: Revolution and Breaking Dawn. Shortly after graduating she started working as a Writer for Miami’s most recognized morning newscast, Today in Florida. She covered breaking news about hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria. Veronica is a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi, and is an active donor and participant in both the Arthritis and Soldiers’ Angels foundations. When she is not chasing the latest story, Veronica loves seeking adventure. Skydiving, catching flights, checking out local delicacies and trying new workouts are among some of her favorite things.

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