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KEY WEST, August 26, 2019 – A Big Pine Key man who violated several terms of his probation for fraud has had that probation revoked and been sent to prison.
James Collins, 25, was ordered to prison for 18 months on August 13 by Monroe County Court Judge Mark Wilson. Collins had been on 24 months of probation after he pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of personal information and grand theft. Assistant State Attorney Christina Cory represented the state.
Collins was initially arrested on December 30, 2017, for unauthorized use of his mother’s debit card. From early September 2017 to late December 2017, without her consent, he made 27 transactions, withdrawing $2,045.70 from her account, mostly through cash withdrawals. The mother had been away at the time and bank records backed up her account that her son is the one who made the transactions.
Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones placed Collins on probation in June 2018 but Collins was arrested in August that year for violating it. Among other things, he did not successfully complete a drug/alcohol treatment program and was discharged from court-ordered transitional housing. In October, Judge Jones reinstated probation and extended it for six months.
This past March, Collins was arrested again for violating his probation. A Florida Department of Corrections probation officer wrote in a report that, among other things, Collins failed urinalysis testing for illegal drugs, refused to undergo drug testing, did not attend support-group meetings for substance abuse, moved from his residence without his probation officer’s permission and failed to report to his probation officer when scheduled.