In 2015, an article that appeared in the New York Post called South Florida “the organized fraud capital of America.” Unfortunately, a current look at the region’s legal landscape does little to dispel such a notion. From property and casualty insurance to parking and disability benefits, or construction and Ponzi schemes, fraud continues to plague the state.
The state’s spiraling number of fraud claims is typified most recently by the demise of former United States Representative Corrine Brown, whose Congressional District once included Orlando. On January 29, Brown reported to the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex to begin a five-year sentence for misappropriating almost $800,000 that was to be used to aid disadvantaged students. The funds instead found their way into Brown’s own bank accounts.
A week in Florida rarely goes by without a splashy headline announcing the latest big fraud bust or toppled Ponzi scheme. But, the headline is only the beginning. It falls on the shoulders of Florida’s legal community from the prosecutors to the receivers and business litigators to try and clean up the messes left by Sunshine State fraudsters — and hopefully, recoup some of the victims’ losses.
If a business suspects that its been the victim of fraud, whether from an employee or another firm, the best thing that can be done is to seek the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in handling business tort matters. A seasoned attorney can help investigate the claims, review evidence of fraud or breaches of fiduciary duty and recommend an appropriate course of action. Florida may be fertile grounds for fraudsters, but one’s business does not have to be a victim.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Former U.S. Rep Corrine Brown reports to prison, faces ‘rough road,” Jason Ruiter, Jan. 30, 2018