Sentenced this morning was Cathy Hamilton, a 54-year-old Clerk of Courts veteran who allegedly scammed the public out of $36,000 in a scheme in which she stole filing fees from civil court cases.
This one hit a little surprisingly, since I don't believe her arrest was publicized.
Hamilton pleaded guilty this morning -- JAABlog was on the scene and provided a heads-up -- to organized scheme to defraud. She agreed to a 30-month sentence and is paying back what she stole in restitution and is also paying back the $35,262 cost of investigating her scam, the State Attorney's Office reports. From a release:
Hamilton's job at the clerk's North Satellite office in Deerfield Beach was to handle the intake of civil lawsuits and civil filings, including collecting filing fees. Broward Sheriff's Office economic crime investigators determined that Hamilton inappropriately used money from checks presented by a bank to cover the filing fees that she stole from other non-related lawsuit filings during the first half of 2009.
ADDED: The Sentinel reports that the prosecutor in the case, Stacy Schulman, said Hamilton "would take cash that was paid by members of the public and pocket that, then use checks filed by other people to make up some of that money and move things around to try to conceal what she was doing. She would put in some of the cases as no-fee filings."
Hamilton, of Coconut Creek, had worked at the clerk's office for 29 years. She was taken into custody this morning to begin serving her prison sentence.
-- The Sun-Sentinel article on Pompano Beach "community leader" turned potential convict Vicente Thrower is a definite should-read. Consider that just about a year ago, the Sentinel company was writing glowing stories about the guy. Thrower, a former member of the city's CRA board, was charged with unlawful compensation for, in the words of prosecutors, "accepting and not officially disclosing more than $50,000 in consulting fees he received to support three separate business deals involving the city and the CRA."
Now it's time for the promised quiz: The photo above shows WSVN anchor Lynn Martinez at work on yesterday's Deco Drive show. Is she:
A) Illustrating the latest techniques being employed by a TSA agents at Miami International Airport?
B) Explaining how she needed to lose the "grannie panties" and get new underwear?
C) Taking part in a new Fox experiment into "info-erotic" methods of news deliverance?
D) All of the above?
Answer after the jump, along with, just for a blast from the past, a clip of her newscast 17 years ago.
Deco Drive had just aired a piece on a big lingerie show, and it got Martinez talking about changing her wardrobe and her body. Hey, it's good, clean fun. Martinez, of course, has changed a lot during her starry career as a South Florida anchor, as the video shows below: