Shamed Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll quits

Mar 13, 2013 by

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned, Gov. Rick Scott’s office announced Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, she was interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is assisting in a national probe of Allied Veterans of the World, a Florida-based nonprofit that operates a chain of internet cafes.

Carroll once owned a public relations firm that represented Allied Veterans, and she did work for the company at the same time she served in the Florida House.

Gov. Scott will address the media after an afternoon news conference on the matter conducted by law enforcement.

Scott chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth released the follow statement:

“Individuals were arrested Tuesday for a racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the Worlds illegal gambling companies. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while serving as a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010. She was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with the company. Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliations with the company from distraction from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families. She made the right decision for the state and her family.”

The Internet cafe investigation is being handled by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office. On Tuesday, authorities in Oklahoma arrested the Oklahoma owner of a technology firm in connection to allegations that he made $290 million after supplying illegal gambling software in Florida and claiming the games’ proceeds would benefit a veterans group.

Chase Egan Burns, 37, turned himself in to sheriff’s deputies in Oklahoma on a felony charge of being a fugitive from Florida, where he is facing several charges including racketeering and conspiracy, according to a formal accusation filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office. Burns’ wife also has been arrested.

Court documents allege Burns and other owners of gambling units he supplied claimed that the money played and lost on the games would be donated to Allied Veterans. But authorities said the veterans group received less than 1 percent of the proceeds.

Prosecutors said they believe Burns earned more than $290 million on the gaming software and units.

His wife, Kristin Burns, 38, was arrested Monday night also on allegations of being a fugitive from Florida, where she is charged with racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering, according to Pruitt’s office.

Court and jail records indicate Chase Burns was free on $500,000 bond Tuesday afternoon and his wife was released on $100,000 bond. Both are required to surrender their passports and wear a GPS tracker.

Chase Burns owns International Internet Technologies in Anadarko, about 60 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

He and his wife were arrested after an investigation that spanned several years and involved the Internal Revenue Service and various law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma and Florida, including the sheriff’s office in Florida’s Seminole County, according to Pruitt’s office.

Heather Smith, spokeswoman for the Seminole County sheriff’s office, wouldn’t answer questions about the investigation, saying said the agency has not released any information about the case.

A telephone number listed for Allied Veterans in St. Augustine, Fla., has been disconnected. Multiple emails sent by The Associated Press to an address listed on the group’s website weren’t returned Tuesday evening.

Along with racketeering and conspiracy charges, Chase Burns is facing multiple counts of the sale or possession of slot machines, conducting a lottery, keeping a gambling house and money laundering, according to the formal accusation filed by Pruitt’s office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

via TALLAHASSEE: Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns from post – Florida – MiamiHerald.com.

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