In both cases, the cash was seized using civil asset forfeiture—a legal practice that allows law enforcement agencies to confiscate cash, vehicles, real estate, and more if they believe it is connected to criminal activity. FBI agents reportedly suspected the cash was drug money, even though there is no record of criminal charges being filed against the suspects.
James Miller, former Chief Financial Officer of Barrett Business Services Inc. (BBSI) was indicted last week for falsely reporting workers’ compensation expenses and then profiting from these misrepresentations. BBSI provides personnel services including payroll and human resources, to companies across the country.
Miller, who served as CFO of the Vancouver, Washington-based company from 2008-2016, is alleged to have underreported BBSI’s workers’ compensation expenses to the tune of $12 million in 2013. He reported these expenses as fees and payroll taxes. Because of this, BBSI’s monetary situation appeared stronger and more attractive to investors than it actually was.
Dan Johnson, a Fifth Circuit Solicitor in South Carolina, is under investigation by the FBI after an investigation into questionable use of funds from civil asset forfeiture funds.
Johnson’s spending records were recently obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the watchdog organization, Public Access to Public Records (PAPR). They show that on April 14, 2017, Johnson moved $10,000 from a fund containing the proceeds from civil asset forfeiture to a credit card which he used to pay for travel in South America. Continue reading
Mayor Joy Cooper of Hallandale Beach, Florida was arrested on public corruption charges after she allegedly received illegal campaign contributions from undercover FBI agents.
Cooper faces felony charges of official misconduct, money laundering, and exceeding campaign contribution limits, as well as a misdemeanor for soliciting contributions in a government building. She surrendered to authorities and was released from Broward Jail after posting bail.
According to the state attorney’s office, the undercover FBI agents who gave Cooper the illegal campaign contributions posed as wealthy developers and business owners. They reportedly met the mayor through former attorney and lobbyist Alan Koslow.
Craig Sizer of Miami, Miguel Mesa of Miami Lakes, Keith Houlihan of Boca Raton, Florida, and 10 others from Florida and California have been arrested by the FBI and face multiple fraud charges for allegedly scamming $23 million from over 700 investors across the U.S. from 2009 to 2015.
The other 10 named in the indictment are Charles K. Topping of North Bay Village, Juan M. Perez Ortega of Miami Lakes, Matthew William Wheeler of Miami, Charles David Smigrod of Coconut Grove, Jason David Hershberger of Fort Lauderdale, James Wayne Long of Miramar, Shawna Leigh Lynch of Fort Lauderdale, Jack Willard Sini of Miami, Anita Sgarro of Marina Del Ray, California, and Martin Miller of Miami Beach.
All 13 are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and several counts of mail fraud. Sizer, Mesa, Topping, Sgarro, and Houlihan are also charged with substantive counts of wire fraud. New sources did not name attorneys for any of the defendants.