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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 7, 2012


State Attorney Michael McAuliffe and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw announce the arrests and filing of criminal charges against 15 individuals while 7 individuals remain at large in OPERATION "LEAP FRAUD" for numerous offenses including Mortgage Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Money Laundering, Threats or Extortion, Grand Theft Over $100,000, Organized Fraud Over $50,000 and Public Assistance Fraud

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw announce on March 7, 2012, the arrests and filing of criminal charges against 15 individuals while 7 individuals remain at large in OPERATION "LEAP FRAUD". These 15 individuals are currently in custody or have been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail while 7 additional individuals remain at large. Charges for the additional 7 defendants are under seal and will be made public upon their arrests.

Today's operation involved the State Attorney's Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. OPERATION "LEAP FRAUD" targeted individuals who defrauded various housing authorities and other agencies located in Palm Beach County who supply public assistance benefits for the state and federal government. The alleged conduct of the individuals charged includes, but is not limited to, failure to disclose tenants, failure to disclose criminal history, failure to disclose assets along with the commission of crimes in public housing. The aggregate value of benefits fraudulently obtained is $963,000.00.

The Probable Cause Affidavits with the Informations specifically charges each defendant as follows:

MICHAEL DIAZ 1 Count of Threats or Extortion 836.05 (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; and 3 Counts of Petit Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(e) (1 M) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 1 Year Palm Beach County Jail per Count. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 20 YEARS IN PRISON and 3 YEARS PALM BEACH COUNTY JAIL

SANDRA JANELL DUQUE - 1 Count of Grand Theft Over $20,000 812.014(1) & (2)(b) (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Organized Fraud, $20,000 or More 817.034(4)(a) 2 (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Money Laundering 896.101(3) & (5)(a) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; and 8 Counts of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison per Count. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 75 YEARS IN PRISON

ROY RAUL GORDON - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) &(2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS IN PRISON

BERNEDETTE HUTCHINS - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS IN PRISON

LAVETT JONES - 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 5 YEARS IN PRISON

CLAUDETTE LATTIE - 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 5 YEARS IN PRISON

VERNA M. LEACH - 1 Count of Grand Theft Over $20,000 812.014(1) & (2)(b) (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 20 YEARS IN PRISON

DECHERYL MARSHALL - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS IN PRISON

LOURDES NICHOLS aka LOURDES MARTINEZ 1 Count of Organized Fraud, $50,000 or More 817.034(4)(a) 2 (1 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 30 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Insurance Fraud 817.234(4)(a)3 (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison; and 1 Count of Obtaining Mortgage by Fraud - 817.54 (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 50 YEARS IN PRISON

KENOL PAUL - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS IN PRISON

FELIX A. PEREZ 1 Count of Grand Theft Over $20,000 812.014(1) & (2)(b) (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Organized Fraud, $20,000 or More 817.034(4)(a) 2 (2 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 15 Years in Prison; and 8 Counts of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison per Count. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 70 YEARS IN PRISON

JACQUELINE LAGAY ROBINSON - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Organized Fraud 817.034(4)(a) 3 (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; and 2 Counts of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison per Count. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 20 YEARS IN PRISON

TRUDY ROBINSON - 1 Count of Grand Theft over $100,000 812.014(1) & (2)(a) (1 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 30 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Organized Fraud, $50,000 or More 817.034(4)(a) 1 (1 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 30 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Obtaining Mortgage by Fraud - 817.54 (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; and 3 Counts of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison per Count TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 80 YEARS IN PRISON

CHIQUITTA LASHUN SALTER - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; 1 Count of Organized Fraud 817.034(4)(a) 3 (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison; and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison per Count. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 15 YEARS IN PRISON

TRISKETA THOMAS - 1 Count of Grand Theft 812.014(1) & (2)(c) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison and 1 Count of Public Assistance Fraud 414.39(1) & (5)(b) (3 F) Maximum Allowable Sentence: 5 Years in Prison. TOTAL POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS IN PRISON

The cases are assigned to Assistant State Attorney Angela Miller of the White Collar Crimes Division. The investigative agencies include the State Attorney's Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. The investigation is ongoing.

Copies of Informations and Probable Cause Affidavits available upon request.

FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION CONTACT:

Terri Bramhall
561-355-7392
tbramhal@sa15.state.fl.us


Source: Office of the State Attorney for the Fifteenth Judicial Circut in and for Palm Beach County

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