Omar Smith Posts $100K Bond, Criminal Jury Trial Set To Begin In July

Omar Smith sporting the colors of Team Dale Holness

The criminal jury trial for Omar Smith, Dale Holness’ campaign guru, is set to begin on July 5, 2022. Judge Robin Rosenberg will preside over Smith’s trial for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Earlier this week, Federal prosecutors charged Smith with the felony stemming from his scheme to fraudulently obtain a $215,500 Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Following his first appearance in Federal court, Omar Smith posted a $100,000 bond and signed a waiver of indictment.

Non-Profit Owner Admits Tamarac Gift Cards Used To Promote Private Food Drive: “Are We Supposed To Waste Them?”

Nataneisha Jahmel Richards wanted to know why her non-profit organization, The Great Commission Center And Outreach, was mentioned in a recent REDBROWARD story. On Thursday, REDBROWARD reported how the Broward County Office of the Inspector General (OIG) wanted to review documents related to a November 2021 turkey drive hosted by Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton. As REDBROWARD revealed last December, Tamarac city officials pressured a non-profit to issue checks for expenses related to the turkey drive.

The Parks And Recreation Foundation Of Tamarac (PAROT) initially refused to participate in Bolton’s event. But the non-profit succumbed to pressure from Commission staffers and Parks and Recreation Department employees.

On October 28, 2021, Eliane Benjamin, administrator for the Tamarac City Commission, asked Parks and Rec Department head Greg Warner if he could “kind assist” with getting a $500 check issued to The Great Commission Center And Outreach organization. Benjamin said owner Peter Richards would pick up the check.

On November 2, 2021 PAROT wrote a $500 check to The Great Commission Center And Outreach. A note on the check reads, “Commissioner Bolton’s Turkeys.”

Later, REDBROWARD exposed how supermarket gift cards purchased from Marlon Bolton’s Tamarac event were used at a private food drive in Plantation.

These gift cards, emblazoned with the name of Commissioner Marlon Bolton, appeared in photographs promoting a private “turkey and pie giveaway” at Car Accident Referral Services (C.A.R.S.) in Plantation. The Tapatia Supermarket gift cards were used in social media posts by Nataneisha “Jahmel” Richards, the president of The Great Commission Center And Outreach non-profit organization of Tamarac.

Ms. Richards posted numerous photos and videos before and after the event. One photograph and one video clearly shows the Tapatia Supermarket gift cards with a sticker which reads, “Courtesy of Commissioner Marlon Bolton District 1.”

Other photographs and videos show Jahmel and Peter Richards volunteering at the Plantation event.

On Friday morning, Nataneisha Jahmel Richards called REDBROWARD.

LET THEM GO TO WASTE?

Ms. Richards wanted to know why REDBROWARD thought it newsworthy to mention The Great Commission Outreach and Center and the gift cards. Richards admitted to using the gift cards to promote the private food drive in Plantation but stated it was not her event.

When asked why she used the Bolton gift cards to promote the private food drive, Richards said,” Are we supposed to let them go to waste?

Richards could not comprehend why using Tamarac funds for a Plantation food drive was an issue.

When asked if Marlon Bolton authorized the use of the gift cards at the private food drive in Plantation, Richards hung up the telephone.

Perhaps she will answer that question for the Broward OIG?

Broward Inspector General Investigating Marlon Bolton’s Use of Tamarac Non-Profit For Turkey Drive

Breaking news from Tamarac Talk: The Broward Office of the Inspector General is investigating possible misuse of a Tamarac non-profit by City officials. Tamarac Talk obtained a May 4, 2022 letter from the Broward OIG to the City of Tamarac requesting documents and information pertaining to the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Tamarac (PAROT) from. August 2021 to January 2022. The items include payments, memoranda, emails, texts and even an iPad.

You can read the full Tamarac Talk story here.

Last December, REDBROWARD broke the news how multiple city staffers instructed PAROT to write checks to local businesses supporting Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton’s personal Turkey Drive in November 2021. A Commissioner staffer as well as City Parks and Recreation employees told PAROT to write checks totaling more than $2,000 even though the Board rejected a formal request at their August meeting. Established in 2011, PAROT has sponsored local golf and bowling tournaments to support parks and recreation issues in the City of Tamarac.

In August 2021, Greg Warner, Director of the Parks and Recreation department, asked PAROT to fund Bolton’s Turkey Drive. According to PAROT Chair Julie Fishman, the board flatly rejected the request. But in October, the PAROT treasurer received requests from City staff about the event.

On October 28th, Eliane Benjamin, administrator for the Tamarac City Commission, asked Warner if he could “kind assist” with getting a $500 check issued to The Great Commission Center And Outreach organization. Benjamin said Peter Richards would pick up the check.

On November 2, 2021 PAROT wrote a $500 check to The Great Commission Center And Outreach. A note on the check reads, “Commissioner Bolton’s Turkeys.”

In another email, Benjamin follows up with Warner after a meeting. Benjamin tells Warner that a $400 payment has been promised to Garfield McLean, owner of Ackee Tree Jamaican Restaurant, for fifty boxed meals. While McLean will pick up the check, the meals will be picked up and distributed by Peter Richards of The Great Commission Center and Outreach. Benjamin tells Warner that Richards will also pick up fifty turkey vouchers from Tapatia Supermarket. The meals and turkeys were to be distributed at Bolton’s Turkey Drive on November 13th at Caporella Park.

On November 3, 2021, PAROT wrote a $400 check to Ackee Tree Jamaican Restaurant. The note on check reads, “Commission Bolton-boxed lunches.”

On November 9, 2021 PAROT wrote a $1,341 check to Tapatia Supermarket. The note on check reads, “Comm. Bolton—turkeys.”

A promotional email sent by Commissioner Bolton lists Tapatia Supermarkets, the City of Tamarac and PAROT as sponsors of the event.

In a follow up story, REDBROWARD revealed how some of the gift cards purchased for the Bolton food drive appeared at a similar food drive in another Broward city.

Supermarket Gift cards emblazoned with the name of Commissioner Marlon Bolton appeared in photographs promoting a private “turkey and pie giveaway” at Car Accident Referral Services (C.A.R.S.) in Plantation. The Tapatia Supermarket gift cards were used in social media posts by Nataneisha “Jahmel” Richards, the president of The Great Commission Center And Outreach non-profit organization of Tamarac.

Richards posted numerous photos and videos before and after the event. One photograph and one video clearly shows the Tapatia Supermarket gift cards with a sticker which reads, “Courtesy of Commissioner Marlon Bolton District 1.”

Other photographs and videos show Jahmel and husband Peter Richards volunteering at the Plantation event.