Former Polk school principal arrested and charged with fraud, theft

Last Updated: Friday, July 21, 2017, 2:36 PM EDT

A former Polk County school principal was arrested Friday morning on allegations of fraud and theft. 

  • Former Polk school principal arrested and charged with fraud, theft
  • Ginger Collins accused of fraud, theft at two schools

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has charged Ginger Collins, 46, the former principal of Kathleen Middle School, with 60 counts of dealing in stolen property, 16 counts passing forged or altered documents, 2 counts fraudulent use of credit card, 1 count obtaining property by fraud, 1 count money laundering, and 1 count grand theft. 

Detectives said the crimes occurred while Collins was the principal of Kathleen Middle School. She resigned as principal in June 2015 and was hired in July 2015 as Assistant Director of Academics at McKeel Academy. Detectives said Collins resigned from that postion in Sep. 2016 when confronted by school officials about suspected fraud and theft--a total of $105,426--at the Academy. 

Collins was arrested on Jan. 10, 2017 for grand theft fraud, fraudulent use of credit card, money laundering, and criminal use of personal ID. She was released from jail two days later, on Jan. 12, after posting a $39,000 bail. This case is still pending an outcome, officials said. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office held a news conference on Collins arrest Friday afternoon and Sheriff Grady Judd said, "You're never too pretty to go to jail."

Collins was arrested Friday, July 21, at her home in north Lakeland. She will have a first appearance hearing Saturday morning, July 22, 2017.