BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A former director of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast was sentenced to prison for taking $1.5 million in donations from the shelter.
Susana Arneson, 39, pled “no contest” to charges of money laundering ($100,000 or more) and organized fraud ($50,000 or more) in August.
While working at the Humane Society from 2018 to 2021, Arneson diverted money from the nonprofit’s bank accounts to her personal account. Arneson’s husband, Douglas O’Berry, 40, was accused of participating in the fraud. His case is still active, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
The couple was accused of $1,551,148.87 in total and using it to buy high-value items, including a $22,000 boat, and 2020 Jeep Wrangler worth $43,000, and a $220,000 house that was bought in cash. Arneson also opened a boutique in Spring Hill.
In a news conference about Arneson’s arrest, Sheriff Al Nienhuis said money was also used to pay for international travel “which may or may not have been related to her change in appearance.”
Arneson was sentenced to 90 months in prison on Friday, with credit for 611 days served. Prosecutors sought 15 years of jail time.