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Defense2

Fort Myers Woman Pleads Guilty To Financial Aid Fraud For Operating Phony Career Institute

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

People often say that college is a scam, but what they really mean is that it is prohibitively expensive, or perhaps they are complaining that college admissions recruiters often promise that their university offers a much faster and more direct route to a lucrative career than it actually does.  Both of those criticisms are… Read More »

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Identity

The Man Who Lived In Florida For Three Decades Under A Stolen Identity

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Young Floridians know that Florida is full of old people, most of whom do not seem very interesting.  They also know that a lot of stuff happened in Florida in the 80s, and it involved cocaine.  Of course, every mild-mannered retiree in Florida has a backstory, and this year, the truth came out about… Read More »

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CrimLaw11

Central Florida Couple With Conspiracy To Obtain More Than $1 Million In COVID-19 Relief Funds Through Fraudulent Means

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Almost everyone who has ever had a Facebook account has posted photos that they thought made them look impressive and cool, only to take them down later once they realized that the photos cast them in a negative light, whether they were simply physically unflattering or whether they presented the subject as foolish, culturally… Read More »

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Handcuffs3

Palm Beach County Teacher Arrested On Charges Of Soliciting A Young Child

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Before there was Facebook and back when Amazon only sold books, the frugal and entrepreneurial people of major American cities could turn to Craigslist to help them find gently used items at affordable prices and to look for opportunities for short-term and long-term employment.  Likewise, before Tinder and its ilk, Craigslist was a place… Read More »

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Jail4

A Country Boy’s Journey To A Heroic Medical Career, The Fort Lauderdale Party Scene, And Then Prison

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Before Carlton Cash received his sentence after pleading guilty to drug dealing charges, his lawyer said that Cash was not a “typical defendant,” but no one is.  Many thousands of people get arrested on drug charges in Florida each year, and none of them fits the caricatured profile of the scary monster who wants… Read More »

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WhiteCollar5

Treasure Coast Man Gets 15-Year Sentence for Defrauding Banks Out of $40 Million

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Pretending to be rich is nothing new, and some people are convincing enough to keep the fraud going for several years.  Anna Sorokin pretending to be a German heiress for several years, funding her lavish lifestyle with promises to pay later.  Christian Gerhartsreiter convinced everyone, including his own wife, that he was an heir… Read More »

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Bruce and Shawn Chait, the Real Estate Developers Who Pleaded Guilty to Bribing County Officials, Now Face Charges of Extortion

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Any Floridian who has read the local news, and any resident of the 49 states who has read a Carl Hiaasen novel, can connect the dots when presented with the keywords “golf course,” “real estate development,” “Florida,” and “corruption.”  Several years ago, a startling number of officials in the county government faced criminal charges… Read More »

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TaxEvasion

A Broward County Man Just Got a Prison Sentence for Underreporting His Income to the IRS, but Should You Worry About Your Tax Return Misdeeds?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Tax evasion is a crime, and we can all think of famous instances where people got into major legal trouble for not paying the taxes the IRS claims they owe.  You probably know the story of how Al Capone went to prison not for illegal sale of alcoholic beverages or for his alleged connections… Read More »

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Defense4

Miami Nurse Accused of Using Fraudulently Obtained PPP and EIDL Funds to Pay Mortgage, Car Lease, and Child Support

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Some industries in South Florida have been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, bars and restaurants have been missing not only the tourists that didn’t show up this year but also the locals who stayed away out of fear of COVID exposure once the restrictions on public gatherings began to relax.  Retail… Read More »

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ScaleMoney

Man Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison for his Role as a Money Mule in Jamaican Lottery Scam

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic and relief funds associated with it have dominated the news headlines in recent months, but Florida was no stranger to scams before the pandemic.  Elderly people are especially vulnerable to fraud, especially if they live alone, since scammers often prey on elderly people’s loneliness and lack of knowledge… Read More »

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DrugCrime3

BSO Deputies Arrest Father and Son in Drug Bust in Parking Lot of Pompano Beach Eatery

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

One of the best things about living in South Florida is that you can always get your fix of sunshine at one of the region’s many reasonably priced, outdoor seating only eateries where the food isn’t too greasy, just greasy enough.  While it might be fun to make key lime pie or lobster bisque… Read More »

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FedCrime

Down on His Luck Businessman Uses $7 Million of Fraudulently Obtained PPP Funds to Buy Maserati and Mansion

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

We can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a good portion of the fun out of the Florida sunshine, but there is a solution to that.  Are you bummed out that you can no longer watch movies at Florida’s dazzling cineplexes?  Just built your own home movie theater, pirate-themed décor and all! … Read More »

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Advocate

Broward County Man Accused of Participation in Pre-Pandemic Identity Theft Conspiracy That Later Included PPP Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

By now, the instances of business owners making false statements in order to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are well known.  The purpose of the loans was to provide emergency relief to businesses forced to pause or scale back their operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The fact that the PPP prioritized speed… Read More »

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Courtroom

Palm Beach County Ophthalmologist Sentenced to 17 Years for Healthcare Fraud Receives Presidential Pardon

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Being found guilty at trial in criminal court and receiving a sentence is not the end of the story.  Of course, some people choose to serve their sentences and put the past behind them rather than going back to court about the same case, but your rights as a defendant do not end as… Read More »

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faccidomo-jude

Jude Faccidomo Tackles Systematic Racism in the Criminal Justice System

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

By a slim majority, the Board of Governors has voted to endorse a Criminal Procedure Rules Committee proposal that would allow prosecutors to request a resentencing hearing at any time. CPRC Vice Chair Jude Faccidomo told the board, “There’s this systemic racism that is deeply imbedded in our criminal justice system…and there is no… Read More »

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WhiteCollar5

Two Miami Residents Face Criminal Charges for PPP Loan Fraud After Falsely Claiming to Operate Farm in Backyard of Duplex

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

South Florida is, by all accounts, a great place to grow fruits and vegetables.  If you grew up here, you probably took a school field trip to an orange grove or, if you are old enough, to Batten’s Strawberry Farm in Broward County.  Perhaps you or one of your neighbors even has a fruit… Read More »

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HandcuffsMoney

Two South Florida Men Charged with Funneling PPP Loan Money Through Vast Network of Stolen Identities

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Most of the most well publicized cases of PPP loan fraud fit one of two patterns.  In some cases, the defendant applied for a PPP loan for a company they genuinely owned, but they misrepresented the company’s expenses in order to get a bigger loan, which they used for personal expenses, some of them… Read More »

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Doctor_Steth

West Palm Beach Man Who Once Convinced Patients He Was Florida’s Youngest Doctor Faces New Fraud Charges

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

When journalists from other states cover criminal cases being tried in Florida courts, they often play up the “only in Florida” angle.  They make it sound like “Florida Man” has superhuman powers of deception, extraordinary audacity, and uncanny bad luck.  During the last few months of 2020, news headlines told of Floridians who spent… Read More »

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Legal12

Coconut Creek PPP Loan Recipient Faces Criminal Charges for Health Care Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Some of the cases of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud sound like they were torn from the tabloid headlines specifically for beefing up the “Florida Man” mythos.  Floridians are known for their ostentation and their chutzpah, but did you hear the one about the guy who bought a $318,000 Lamborghini with PPP loan… Read More »

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Medication2

The Rise and Fall of Serenity Ranch Recovery: Four Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Related to Operation of Nightmarish Sober Home

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

By now, the messiness of the addiction treatment industry in Florida has become legendary.  The Florida shuffle, in which poorly managed sober living homes boot residents out as soon as their insurance companies stop paying, only for the former residents to be scooped up by “druggie buggies” and shuttled to another rehab facility which… Read More »

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