Developer’s trail of fraud lawsuits backdrop claim of illegal campaign contributions

Miami World Center site.

By Francisco Alvarado
Arthur Falcone, a Boca Raton-based developer behind a downtown Miami project at the center of illegal campaign contribution allegations, has blazed a trail of lawsuits accusing him of swindling business associates and creditors out of tens of millions of dollars during the height of the real estate market crash.

Broward Health begins lobbyist registration – 12 years and millions in contracts late

Broward Health's corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale

By Dan Christensen
Broward Health’s long-lost lobbyist registration policy is, at last, resurrected. Lobbyists looking to influence district policy or the award of profitable contracts must now publicly identify themselves and their clients.

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Sexual affair between Miami judge, witness alleged amid tainted U.S. court proceedings

Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigator William Majcher and Miami federal judge Ursula Ungaro

By Dan Christensen
A dozen years ago, Miami federal judge Ursula Ungaro sentenced Martin Chambers to 15 years in prison for money laundering. For years, hushed allegations have swirled that the judge slept with the government’s key witness – a dashing Royal Canadian Mounted Police undercover agent.

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Embattled nonprofit Plaza Health Network sells property, insider pockets millions

The original facility of the Plaza Health Network, the Hebrew Home of South Beach, was sold last year for $13.6 million

By Francisco Alvarado
When nonprofit Miami-Dade nursing home operator Plaza Health Network sold a prime slice of Miami Beach real estate for $13.6 million last spring, its board chairman, Russell Galbut, collected more than $3 million for himself and his real estate company, Crescent Heights, according to company documents reviewed by

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Humana facing new federal scrutiny over private Medicare plans

The entrance to Humana headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky

By Fred Schulte
Center for Public Integrity
Giant health insurer Humana, Inc. faces new scrutiny from the Justice Department over allegations it has overcharged the government by claiming some elderly patients enrolled in its popular Medicare plans are sicker than they actually are.

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Going from bad to worse: the new southbound exit at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood airport

SouthboundUS1exit ramp600

By William Hladky
The new southbound exit ramp out of the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport funnels vehicles to an intersection so congested it is rated near the bottom for traffic flow, according to a study commissioned by state transportation officials.

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Town’s class action RICO lawsuit says Florida public records law misused to extort settlements

Martin O'Boyle, left, and Christopher O'Hare

By Dan Moffett
The Coastal Star
Town of Gulf Stream in South Palm Beach County has rolled out the heavy artillery in its legal war against residents Martin O’Boyle and Christopher O’Hare, filing a class-action RICO lawsuit Feb. 12 in U.S. District Court.

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Miami-Dade commissioners find $30 million to fix iconic courthouse

The Dade County Courthouse

By Francisco Alvarado
Last year, local judges and prominent attorneys led an unsuccessful campaign to convince Miami-Dade voters to foot the bill for a new $368 million civil court building, plus $25 million to fix up the iconic Dade County Courthouse. The measure failed 2-to-1. Now it turns out Miami-Dade County already had a pot of taxpayer money available for extensive repairs needed at the deteriorating, 87-year-old landmark.

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Jeb Bush’s missing emails detail his lobbying support for Bacardi as contributions flowed

A screen shot of the home page of

By Dan Christensen
The mass release of emails covering presidential aspirant Jeb Bush’s years as governor omitted at least a dozen emails documenting behind-the-scenes lobbying support he gave to liquor giant Bacardi.

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Federal highway agency takes a hit over safety report on electronic billboards

Photo: Scenic America

By Myron Levin
Why did the billboard cross the road? It sounds like the opening line of a corny joke, but it’s actually a question raised by a baffling glitch in a Federal Highway Administration study on the safety of electronic billboards.

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New Saudi king ran state charity that 9/11 victims say funded and armed al Qaeda

Saudi King Salman with President Obama at Erga Palace during a January 27, 2015 trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo: Pete Souza, official White House photo

By Dan Christensen
Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman, “actively directed” a Saudi charity whose funding was “especially important to al Qaeda acquiring the strike capabilities used to launch attacks in the U.S.,” say new court papers filed by lawyers representing 9/11 victims and their families.

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