An assistant medical examiner at the Harris County Morgue has posted bail on felony charges after she’s accused of cashing by claiming she was single. Prosecutors say that helped her to obtain a $400,000 mortgage on a piece of property in which her husband had an ownership interest.
Dr. Luisa Fernenda Florez, 46 of Jane Street in Bellaire is charged with Making False Statements to Obtain Credit, a heavy first degree felony.
She posted bail and was ordered to surrender her passport.
Dr. Florez is charged with lying on a December 2009 application to receive a loan for a piece of property in which her husband had an ownership interest. In court records, prosecutors say she lied by claiming she was not married and she lied by saying the residence would be her primary residence.
Her husband, Jon Holverson, is facing federal charges along with his brother, accused of cashing in on disaster assistance fraud. Both men are charged with claiming disaster aid after Hurricane Ike, while federal agents claim they were not eligible.
It was unclear from the court records in Dr. Florez’ case whether any of that property was involved in the allegations against her.
She was being questioned at the DA’s office on August 15th when she was arrested and criminal charges were filed.
Harris County District Attorney Pat Lycos told the Houston Chronicle that as many as 10 murder cases could be affected since Dr. Florez signed off on or participate in the autopsies that led to convictions. Any time a police officer or scientist’s credibility is called into question, it can affect a criminal prosecution and some lawyers in cases she worked on are already lining up.
In a written statement on the day of her arrest, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences (formerly known as the medical examiner) wrote:
Dr. Luisa Florez is employed by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences as an Assistant Medical Examiner. She has been on leave at her request since August 4, 2011. Although HCIFS has not seen and cannot comment on the criminal complaint against her, we understand it does not involve her duties at HCIFS.
The statement from Chief Medical Examiner Luis Sanchez continued that his office would cooperate with the district attorney’s investigation.
Florez is set for arraignment before the 180th Harris County District Court on September 27th.
Her bond had been set at $800,000, or twice the amount of her alleged fraud. However, her bond was lowered to $200,000 one week ago and she was released from the Harris County Jail.