A recent South Florida case demonstrates that not all police department bribery allegations involve officers. Even an assistant with access to records might be targeted by someone looking to gain an illegal advantage.
In December 2020, Marquies McGirt, a former public service aide to the Miami-Dade Police Department, pled guilty to mail fraud charges after he admitted to taking payments from the owner of a credit-repair company in exchange for falsified reports. The charges were brought based on the conspirators’ scheme by which McGirt created phony Offense Incident Reports so that clients of the credit-repair operation could falsely claim that they had been victims of identity theft. This scheme implicated several potential criminal charges, including:
Mail fraud — Using the U.S. Postal Service as part of a fraudulent scheme is a federal crime. Along with wire fraud, which relates to conversations conducted over the telephone or online, mail fraud is frequently charged in cases involving alleged misrepresentation. Here, the owner of the credit-repair company would mail the false incident reports to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, supporting the charge for which McGirt was eventually convicted.
Bribery — Government employees who, with corrupt intent, take something of value in exchange for the performance of an official act risk a bribery charge under federal and state laws. In addition to cash payments from the company owner who furnished the bribe, McGirt and his family received credit monitoring and repair services as compensation for his unlawful acts.
Official misconduct — Even when no bribe is involved, Florida law prevents public servants and contractors from falsifying records in order to gain a benefit for themselves or harm someone else. Accordingly, even if McGirt had created a phony Offense Incident Report on his own to deal with a credit problem, he still would have been subject to criminal prosecution.
Whether you’re a public employee or not, you could face a severe sentence if you’ve been accused of a crime by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida or another federal prosecutor. Retaining a lawyer with extensive experience handling federal criminal defense matters gives you the best chance to counter the allegations against you effectively and obtain a satisfactory result.
Located in Wellington, The Law Office of Roma W. Theus, II, P.A. represents clients in complex criminal litigation in South Florida and throughout the United States. If you’ve been charged or are under investigation from federal or state authorities, please call 954.281.4851 or contact me online.
The Law Office of Roma W. Theus, II, P.A. is located in Wellington, FL and serves clients in and around Loxahatchee and Pahokee.
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