White Collar Crimes

Navy Officer Charged with Fraud, Arson After House Fire

A twenty-six-year veteran of the U.S. Navy was arrested and charged with arson and insurance fraud last week after investigators say he set fire to his home in order to claim insurance benefits. Lieutenant Nolen John Zander’s home caught fire […]... [Read More]

Guilty Plea to Tax Fraud Charges Earns Owner of Accounting Firm with Tampa Office Two Years in Federal Prison

The owner of a public accounting firm with an office in Tampa was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud charges. Walter Drakeford, Sr. entered a guilty plea on one count of interfering with […]... [Read More]

Prosecution Pending of Pinellas Prisoner for Possibly Purchasing Personal Products for Peers with Purloined Proceeds

A Clearwater man who is already a guest of the Pinellas County Sheriff stands accused of using stolen credit card numbers to purchase supplies for others within the county’s jail. Robert Bryan Kinzinger was booked into the Pinellas County Jail […]... [Read More]

Prosecution Agrees to Plea Agreement for Ex Tampa Cop Accused of Tax Fraud Scheme

A federal judge will hear the details of a plea agreement later this month that may avoid a trial on the merits of a former Tampa homicide detective who has been accused of filing fraudulent tax returns. Eric Houston is […]... [Read More]

St. Pete Man Among Seventeen Defendants Charged in Alleged Mortgage Fraud Scheme

A St. Petersburg man is one of seventeen defendants facing charges of mortgage fraud stemming from loans taken out on condominiums on Florida’s west coast. Carlos Mesa, Jr. is accused by attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern […]... [Read More]

Tampa Woman Convicted of Fraudulently Charging $2.5 MM to Medicare

A Tampa woman is awaiting sentencing on a conviction of fraud and money-laundering charges relating to her alleged participation in a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme. Pilar Garcia Lorenzo was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit health care […]... [Read More]

Tampa Attorney Pleads Guilty After Falling Victim to DEA Sting

A prominent Tampa attorney pled guilty to charges of hiding proceeds from illegal drug deals last week after agreeing to help a DEA agent and an informer set up a private trust for holding cash proceeds from sales of drugs […]... [Read More]

Former CEO of Hillsborough Program for Disabled Adults Indicted on Charges of Fraud Against Government

The man widely considered to be behind the success of a Hillsborough county program for adults with developmental disabilities has now become the fourth person to face charges for defrauding the federal government. Sixty-nine-year-old Richard Lilliston, once the CEO of […]... [Read More]

Pasco County Man Arrested for Living Under Deceased Man’s Identity for Two Decades

Richard Hoagland sits in a Pasco County jail cell today. Declared legally dead in 2003, state and federal authorities say that he has been living life as Terry Jude Symansky, who has been deceased for 25 years next Saturday. According […]... [Read More]

Tavares Mayor Suspended After Arrest for Insurance Fraud

Florida governor Rick Scott issued an executive order Thursday suspending Tavares mayor Robert Wolfe after his arrest the afternoon before on one count of felony insurance fraud. According to investigators, Wolfe received $17,234.65 from his homeowner’s insurance policy to repair […]... [Read More]

Valrico Couple Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding HSBC

Valrico resident Michelle Guy was sentenced this week to 48 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Her husband and co-defendant Kevin Guy was sentenced last month to 37 months in prison for his […]... [Read More]

Guilty & Not Guilty Verdicts in Tampa Fraud Trial

After a two-and-a-half month trial and almost three weeks of deliberation, a federal jury in Tampa found four health care corporation executives guilty of charges of submitting fraudulent reports to the state Medicaid program. The execs were found not guilty […]... [Read More]

Tampa Staffing Agency Employee Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft in Tax Fraud Case

Jennifer Meier Hunt, a former employee at Tampa-based staffing agency Kforce, pleaded guilty this week to charges related to stealing workers’ identity information for use in tax refund fraud. Hunt was charged in federal court in Tampa with theft of […]... [Read More]

Former Tampa Bay Lawyer Extradited from Nicaragua on Fraud Charges

Former Tampa Bay area attorney Lawrence Hartman was deported by Nicaraguan authorities deported last week and sent back to Florida where he faces fraud charges in Tampa’s federal court. He is accused of  participating in a $137 million fraud and […]... [Read More]

St. Petersburg Halfway House Founder Charged with Fraud

Patrick Jay Banks, the founder of a St. Petersburg halfway house, was arrested last week on charges of defrauding investors and a federal substance abuse treatment program out of as much as $50,000. Police allege Banks cooked up an elaborate scheme […]... [Read More]