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Local mom accused of taking more nearly $250k from fallen police officer fund intended for her son - here's where the money went

Court documents are telling us more about a Robinson woman accused of misappropriating almost a quarter of a million dollars from her son's estate.

Posted: Jul 30, 2021 2:21 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2021 8:04 AM

Court documents are telling us more about a Robinson woman accused of misappropriating almost a quarter of a million dollars from her son's estate.

Police arrested 31-year-old Josie Huff in Robinson on Thursday. Her son is the child of fallen Terre Haute Police Officer Rob Pitts.

According to police, Huff "misused and misappropriated" $248,654.81 from her son's estate for self-gain. Huff was the guardian of the estate for her son.

LINK | 10-42: Officer Rob Pitts receives his final call

This fund included money from Federal Fallen Officer Line of Duty Death Benefits, Indiana Public Employee Retirement Fund, and Social Security.

Here's what she was accused of doing

The initial tip of Huff misusing the money came from a family member of Officer Pitts.

That family member told investigators Huff used the money to buy a Jeep and then get a repossessed vehicle back. A different family member says Huff bought a PT Cruiser with the money.

A breakdown of the numbers - The first benefit payment

10-22-18 -- Huff allegedly deposited $111,212.31 into her personal bank account using an Electronic Funds Transfer. This money was the first Federal Law Enforcement Officer Line of Duty Death Benefit payment made to Officer Pitts' son.

10-22-18 -- The same day the money was transferred to Huff's account, investigators say there was a $5,480.69 deduction from the US Department of Treasury, Bureau of Fiscal Service (on behalf of the Department of Education), and the Federal Offset Unit. Officials say this was to repay Huff's delinquent student loan debt.

10-26-18 through 11-13-18 -- Investigators said there were ATM withdrawals of $53,173.47

11-13-18 -- Investigators said Huff spent or withdrew a total of $77,169.82 in the first month of the money's deposit.

12-12-18 -- By December, the balance in the account was down to $977.96.

12-24-18 -- The account had a negative balance of minus $363.97. That means she was accused of spending the entire payment of over $111,000 made to her son from the federal benefits.

Investigators said the purchases include transactions from Amazon Prime Market Place, Amazon.com, Amazon Digital, Walmart, McDonald's, Guitar Center, Comcast, Mikeandapri (Facebook), Dollar Tree, Microsoft Xbox.

2-8-19 -- The account had a balance of negative $3,728.85.

The second benefits payment

2-11-19 -- Pitts' son received a second payment from the US Treasure for $54,074.81. This was his second payment for the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Line of Duty Death Benefit. By the end of the day, the balance was down to $38,698.92.

2-12-19 through 3-4-19 -- Investigators said they found purchases from Amazon Marketplace, many flower purchases, and Playstation Net.

3-4-19 -- The account had a balance of negative $1,467.86.

The third payment

8-26-19 -- Pitt's son received a payment of $50,000 from the Indiana Public Retirement System because of his father's line of duty death. Huff allegedly deposited that money into her Crane Credit Union account. Officials said there were similar purchases as before.

8-26-19 through 9-7-19 -- Investigators said Huff withdrew $36,200 from the account.

9-20-19 -- The account had a balance of $3.12.

9-24-19 -- The account was overdrawn.

The investigation

In June of 2021, investigators talked with Huff's mother. They asked her about the checks Huff wrote to her.

She told police Huff bought a hot tub, a PT Cruiser, and repaid money she had previously borrowed from her. Huff's mother told investigators she wasn't aware that the money came from the line of duty death benefits.

Around that same time, investigators spoke with Huff's ex-husband. He had possession of a Jeep Huff bought. He claims he paid $8,000 to get the Jeep back after Huff failed to make payments on a title loan.

He told investigators Huff said she bought the Jeep with a tax refund.

Police said he seemed "genuinely surprised" when he found out that Huff was accused of buying the Jeep with the money from the benefit fund.

That same month, officials talked with Huff's ex-mother-in-law. She claims Huff stole her son's tools and their children's toys. She accused Huff of selling them for drug money.

Huff's sister told investigators Huff had a drug problem, and it had been getting worse. She claimed Huff always had a spending problem and would often write checks that would bounce.

The arrest

On Thursday, a press release from Indiana State Police says a tip from a family member of Huff is what led to her arrest. Police in Robinson took her into custody. She will be transferred to the Sullivan County Jail.

At this point, she is facing a charge of theft.

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