Instances of alleged financial malfeasance have hit Florida hard in recent years. An example that affects homeowners and those seeking to become homeowners is mortgage fraud. One case being reported on involves the practice of requiring advance fees for mortgage loans.
On May 7, the Florida Highway Patrol pulled a man over for speeding along a stretch of I-75 in Hamilton County. According to troopers, the 28-year-old man was doing at least 80 mph in a Nissan Altima rental car with Kentucky plates when they stopped him. One of the troopers reported that he could smell marijuana as he approached the car and said that the defendant admitted to having smoked some marijuana earlier. He denied having any with him in the vehicle.
Individuals accused of crimes often have bases in multiple states. This requires cooperation among the officials of those states in order to investigate, gather evidence, and build a case. This happened in a recent drug crime situation where the man accused has ties to both Florida and California.
A Miami Beach, Florida, man is potentially looking at serving 30 years in prison after a grand jury indicted him on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the man was arrested April 29 and detained in Miami for allegedly engaging in a house-flipping scheme. The fraud worked by using shell companies and "straw buyers" to fool lenders into loaning them money on property, which he then resold. This reportedly caused lenders to lose approximately $2.75 million in the process.
The state of Florida cooperates with United States federal authorities to address a wide range of criminal activity, from fraud affecting benefit programs to tax matters. One significant focus of that cooperation is drug crimes. Recently, that has included significant focus on synthetic drugs.
On April 29, the former mayor of Hialeah, Julio Robaina and his wife Raiza, were acquitted by a Miami, Florida, federal jury on tax crimes alleging that the pair had conspired to avoid paying $2 million in taxes and lied to authorities about it. In all, the defendants each faced tax-evasion conspiracy charges and two false tax-return offenses for 2006 and 2007. Additionally, the government charged both of them for lying to federal investigators about the relationship the mayor had with a loan company owned by his wife. The two-week trial by a 12 member jury ended in the defendant's acquittal on all charges.
The sheer volume of wealth that flow through Florida makes it a tempting place for those who want to commit financial crimes. However, sometimes even the most high-profile accusations of financial malfeasance prove to be false. This was determined to be the case in a recent tax evasion proceeding, with a Miami, Florida, jury returning a verdict of not guilty.
A man who has been in prison after being accused of orchestrating a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme has been given a chance at freedom. A U.S. magistrate agreed to release the 49-year-old man from custody pending the completion of his Ponzi scheme fraud case. The white-collar crime case alleges that the Palm Beach Gardens man was running a fake virtual concierge scam.
In general, citizens of Florida view police officers as the ones who will protect them from crimes. In most cases, they are correct, since the majority of Florida police officers are upstanding citizens who do their best to serve and protect residents of the state. That makes it all the more shocking when a trusted police officer is implicated in a drug crime.