Former Florida Firefighter Convicted of Wire Fraud

A former Palm Beach County firefighter has been convicted of fraudulently misappropriating $158,960 from a charity that helps folks who have cystic fibrosis. Elizabeth Genna Suarez, 34, was convicted of three counts of wire fraud yesterday by a federal court jury.

The trial took place in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The charity from whom the funds were taken was Piper’s Angels Foundation Inc. Suarez married the foundation’s founder in 2018. She was later placed on the board of directors, given a foundation credit card, and handled the foundation’s bookkeeping. They divorced in 2020.

Prosecutors claim Suarez used foundation funds to pay for personal expenses including cosmetic surgery, sunglasses, and car improvements. She resigned from the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue in November, 2022 and was charged in December 2022 with four counts of wire fraud. She was found not-guilty on one of the four charges.

Suarez faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. More on the story.

What is Pink Collar Crime? Check out Kelly Paxton.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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