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Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

Ex-Tampa police officer to plead guilty to stealing evidence

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— One of the police officials who was supposed to help investigate tax refund fraud instead betrayed fellow officers and stole evidence seized in a crime wave that swamped the c...

Former TPD confidential informant Rita Girven charged with tax fraud

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— A figure in a scandal that hit the Tampa Police Department has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to file fraudulent tax returns.

Former NFL agent pleads guilty to fraud

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— A former agent for NFL players admitted Monday that he used the names of football recruits to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Brandon veterinarian.

Thieves finding ways to use mobile banking to cash checks twice

- Just this month, nine people have been accused of taking pictures of money orders and submitting them, then cashing the money orders at post offices and withdrawing the deposited funds.

Fraud scheme involved debit cards, mailbox theft

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— The scammers in Massachussetts somehow had enough information to convince Bank of America employees that they were customers in Florida.

‘Something happened’ to missing Brandon woman

- The parents of 33-year-old Apryl Foster, who disappeared after being last seen Thursday morning in Ybor City, implored for public help in locating their daughter.

Expert’s unscientific claims mire death-row cases in uncertainty

- Three decades later, lawyers and prosecutors are still trying clean up the mess an expert witness left behind in cases as far back as 1980.

Sex offender had only one place to live: a parking lot

- Antonio Rivera's attorney says the options were abide by the conditions of probation and be in daily danger or violate probation and risk being arrested.

Haley has been rich source of records for tax fraud thieves

- For a few years, crooks filing fraudulent tax returns had a seemingly ready source of personal information - patient records at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.

'Sexting court' teaches perils of lewd selfies

- An embarrassed girl and her anxious mother sat before Circuit Judge Ralph Stoddard last week, not quite sure what was going to happen.

Al-Arian discusses deportation, trial in interview from Turkey

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— Sami Al-Arian says he has mixed feelings about leaving his family and friends behind in the U.S. after 40 years.

‘Grateful’ former USF professor Al-Arian deported to Turkey

- Seven months after the last criminal charges were dropped against him and nearly 12 years after he was first indicted, former USF professor Sami Al-Arian has been deported to Turkey.

Tampa becoming a hot spot for filing patent cases

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— Whether their inventions are dummies for boxers to pummel or electronic mapping apps, people who say their ideas were stolen are turning to federal judges in the Middle Distri...

Wife claims judge violated restraining order

- Shirley Sanchez-Myers’ motion for contempt says her husband, Hillsborough Judge Eric Myers, abused his position when he tried to enter their home, damaging the garage door in the process.

Local priest, church hid dark secret, victims group says

- An organization dedicated to exposing sexual abuse by priests sought to shed light on what organizers said were The Rev. Innocente Clementi’s victims at Mary Help of Christians School in East Lake.

Judge’s wife wants restraining order case moved out of Hillsborough

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— A lawyer for the wife of a Hillsborough County judge charged with domestic violence wants her injunction case moved to Orange County.

Hillsborough judge ordered to stay away from wife

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— The wife of a Hillsborough County judge told the court her husband has violent tendencies when she sought an injunction the day after he was

High court debates Tampa case on judicial donations

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Although Florida judicial candidates are not allowed to directly ask for campaign contributions, they are permitted to write thank-you notes to their donors.

Supreme Court to hear Hillsborough case regarding judicial candidate fundraising

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Former Florida Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead is worried about the courts falling into the same level of disrepute as the other two branches of government.

Tampa at center of plot to sell computer equipment to Iran

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— Days after a former City of Tampa engineer was charged in April 2012 with conspiring to export computer equipment to Iran, his Iranian contact was seeking price quotes for mor...

Mexico to issue birth certificates through consulates in the U.S.

- With an estimated 14,000 Mexican nationals living illegally in Hillsborough County, a decision by the Mexican government to issue birth certificates at consulates in the United States is likely to have an impact on local re...

Child sex trafficker was victim as a teenager

- Many stories have both a villain and a victim. In this tale, St. Petersburg's Keosha Renee Jones is both.

Weddings don’t mean gay marriage issue totally settled

- Clerks are issuing marriage licenses and presiding over weddings of gay couples, but that doesn’t mean the legal status of same-sex marriage in Florida has been decided.

Flu already at peak-season levels in Tampa Bay area

- With plenty of winter still to go, Hillsborough County already is experiencing levels of flu activity normally seen at the peak of the season.

Gay marriage legal in Florida, but gay divorce still cloudy

- Same-sex couples will be able to marry in Florida by Tuesday, but gay couples wanting to dissolve their marriages in Hillsborough County are, for the time being, out of luck.