From Medicare fraud to the foreclosure mess, Brad Hertz seems to bring trouble wherever he goes. 

After Hertz, a very close friend and business associate of Democratic state Sen. Jim Waldman, got out of federal prison for ripping off Medicare, he went to work to "rescue" homeowners in trouble with their mortgages. But numerous complaints filed by his customers allege that Hertz, with his "Home Rescue Foundation," instead took their money -- and their houses. Read the Sun-Sentinel story here

Waldman was the registered agent for the Hertz company that defrauded Medicare of $7 million but was never implicated in any wrongdoing. According to the feds, Hertz wrongfully billed the government for boat trips, parties, and other personal perks. 

Hertz's fraudulent activity never bothered Waldman, who helped throw his friend a going-away party before Hertz checked into the 

Sen. Jim Waldman's Criminal Buddy Back in Hot Water

federal pen to serve his one-year sentence. I spoke to Waldman about his friend back in 2006. 

"Brad Hertz has been a personal friend of mine for years, and the fact that he pled guilty doesn't necessarily mean that he was guilty," he said. "Brad Hertz is somebody who paid his debt to society, and he should be afforded all the rights a person has in that society."

Unfortunately, Hertz was given those rights in spades, which leads to the question: How is a convicted fraud artist allowed to take homeowners' money in the first place? This guy never should have been approved a business license after defrauding Medicare. 

Waldman and Hertz have been in business together in the past; it doesn't appear the senator has any involvement in the current mess.

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