Jessica Hart charged with stealing almost $200,000 from a Glades-based organization

BELLE GLADE, Fla. - A Belle Glade woman has been arrested and charged with stealing almost $200,000 the Florida Rice Council Inc.

The Florida Rice Council is a coalition of ten agriculture related businesses that pools funds from its members for the purpose of funding research and development.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says that Jessica Hart was an employee of Wedgworth Farms Inc., which is a member of the Florida Rice Council.

Hart, according to deputies, worked for the treasurer of the Florida Rice Council and prepared the council's annual treasury report.

Investigators say that Hart used checks from the council and made them payable to herself.

Deputies say that Hart defrauded the organization of $195,00 over a three year period.

Hart was arrested on fraud and grand theft charges.

She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail and released on bond.