Federal benefit checks stolen from family

- Nearly $2,500 dollars were stolen from a 4-year old girl who needs that money to live and the thief is still a mystery. Four year old Nichaelia Fagan has special needs.

“She's got therapies, machines she needs to use, she's speech-impaired, her disability is communication,” explains her mother, Marcelia, “so there's a lot of things that she needs.”

Nichaelia needs to see a therapist in Ormond Beach several times a week. With money very tight, her mother Marcelia was approved for supplemental social security income. She kept checking her mailbox for the money, but she never found the check. After months of waiting, she looked for answers.

“I made a phone call to SSI, they let me know that a back paycheck was signed and reconciled in a TD Bank in Edgewater, and I let them know it wasn't us and it started a fraud investigation,” Fagan said.

Deputies say Fagan was told the check was deposited into an account at a TD Bank, less than ten minutes' drive from her house. But they say it's not her account and she didn't give anyone permission to take, sign, or deposit the check.

Then deputies say she got word a second check had also been stolen - together, they total nearly $2,500. Fagan's taken the steps to get the badly-needed money back, but that could take a while. The person being hurt here is Nichaelia.

“To do that to her,” Fagan said, “she'll always know not to trust certain people.”

She says it could be almost two months before she gets the money back. Volusia County sheriff's deputies and Edgewater police are investigating the thefts.

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