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Charges dropped in St. Johns County deputy fraud case

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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – All charges against the St. Johns County deputy who was arrested in October 2015 were dropped Friday, according to documents released by the St. Johns County Clerk of Court.

Deputy Shane Tolerico, 43, was charged with grand theft and organizing a scheme to defraud St. Johns County of over $60,000 in insurance claims.

St. Johns County Clerk of Court documents show Tolerico’s case has been closed and all charges have been dropped. There was no explanation as to why St. Johns County dropped the charges.

Detectives began their investigation when a Sheriff's Office employee became suspicious after Tolerico attempted to obtain death benefits on his wife, who had recently died, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. That's a benefit afforded to employees and their qualified spouse.

Investigators said Tolerico falsified documents during annual "open enrollment" sessions by confirming his marital status was unchanged, which afforded him to receive out of pocket savings of about $14,000 by passing those costs onto the county.

Although equivalent and continuous coverage was still available, at a slightly higher cost following the divorce, Tolerico chose to obtain a benefit he was no longer legally entitled to receive, SJCSO said.

This action resulted in the county paying over $60,000 in prescription and medical payments for his former spouse, according to investigators.