The former manager of Opa-locka has been sentenced as the result of a years-long federal corruption case. This past September, the 51-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge, considered to be a white collar crime. He was accused of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from people in exchange for things like city licenses and code enforcement.
Court records show that a federal judge imposed the sentence just recently. This sentencing comes after the defendant has already spent more than the last three years in prison. The FBI has reportedly been investigating corruption in this South Florida city for months.
Officials say they expect other indictments. Another individual, a former public works employee in the same area, also pleaded guilty to a corruption charge back in August. While he has not been sentenced to date, his charges would be similarly classified as white collar crimes as well.
The term white collar crime is generally defined as any financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. It's an umbrella term that can include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, labor racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft and forgery. Any Florida residents that find themselves facing similar charges usually retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with experience in white collar crime cases can work with the accused to formulate the strongest possible defense. The lawyer can also offer advice in matters such as plea bargaining and help to mitigate the negative effects of the accusations.
Source: washingtontimes.com, "Ex-official gets 3+ years in prison in Florida bribery case", Nov. 21, 2016