Main | Wednesday, March 13, 2013

FLORIDA: Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Resigns Amid Racketeering Investigation

Florida GOP Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned today immediately after police questioned her regarding her involvement with a non-profit group that is being investigated in a federal racketeering probe. Carroll took office in 2010 as Tea Party hero Rick Scott's running mate.  The group in question, Allied Veterans, runs dozens of internet cafes that apparently permit internet gambling.
Officials from Allied Veterans of the World and Nelson Cuba, the president of the Jacksonville Florida Order of Police, were among those arrested in the racketeering investigation by the IRS and Secret Service. Allied Veterans is accused of money laundering, using money from a nonprofit for personal gain and misrepresenting the amount donated to charities. Authorities say the group donated just 2 percent of its $290 million in proceeds to charities over about five years. They also say the former president received more than $1.5 million and the national commander got $250,000 from the organization.

A firm Carroll owned, 3N & JC, did consulting work for Allied Veterans, and she starred in a commercial for the nonprofit in 2010. In addition, as a member of the House, Carroll filed legislation that would have formally legalized the industry, which currently falls into a gray area in state law. Internet cafes operate under Florida’s sweepstakes laws, but opponents deem them illegal gambling. Carroll later acknowledged the conflict of interest and withdrew the bill, which she said was filed by a staffer without her knowledge.
RELATED: Last year an aide to Carroll claimed to have walked in on her having lesbian sex in her Tallahassee office. Carroll, who has been married to a man for 30 years, denied the accusation, saying, "Black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that." The aide was fired and later passed a polygraph test regarding her claim.

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