Tag Archives: Beach

CONSPIRACY: Charging Docs List “Co-Conspirators,” May Signal Omar Smith’s Cooperation In Ongoing Federal Investigations

Omar Smith

Federal prosecutors allege Omar Miguel Smith, Dale Holness’ longtime campaign guru, had help in his conspiracy to fraudulently obtain a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 relief loan, charging documents show. These same documents may signal that Smith is cooperating with Federal authorities in ongoing investigations. On Monday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida charged Smith with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. If convicted, Smith faces up to thirty years in Federal prison.

In charging documents filed in U.S. Federal Court, prosecutors allege “co-conspirators” assisted Omar Smith in fraudulently obtaining a $215,500 PPP loan for his Florida company A Star For I, Inc. in June 2020. Prosecutors allege Smith agreed to pay 20% of the PPP loan to a co-conspirator for help obtaining the loan. On June 1, 2020 Omar Smith submitted an online loan application prepared by his co-conspirator.

According to the U.S. Attorney, “the loan application falsely stated that A Star For I had 30 employees and had an average monthly payroll of $85,000 a month.” To support these bogus claims, Smith submitted false IRS documents prepared by his co-conspirator that “falsely stated that in the first quarter of 2019 A Star For I paid wages of $255,000 and had withheld from those wages federal income tax of $24,040, social security tax of $31,620, and Medicare tax of $7,395.”

The PPP loan was approved one day later and $215,500 was transferred to the A Star For I bank account. Prosecutors state Smith transferred $42,500 to his co-conspirator on June 10, 2020 as payment for obtaining the PPP loan.

Between June 2020 and October 2020, Federal prosecutors allege Omar Smith “began issuing checks to persons in order to make it appear as if A Star For I had full-time employees and was complying with the conditions of the PPP loan.” Prosecutors claim “the persons receiving the checks did little, if any, work for A Star For I.”

Prosecutors have not named Smith’s co-conspirators.

REDBROWARD was first to report on Omar Smith’s suspect PPP loan in August 2020.

During the same time period, REDBROWARD exposed a similar suspect PPP loan obtained by Damara Holness, daughter of former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.

Like Smith, Damara Holness used false documents to claim her Florida company employed workers with a hefty payroll when in reality, Holness Consulting Inc. had no employees. Using false payroll records, Damara Holness fraudulently obtained a $300,000 PPP loan.

Also like Omar Smith, Damara Holness wrote checks to associates who cashed the checks and returned the majority of the money to Holness. Prosecutors alleged Holness used dozens of people in this scheme. Last month, Damara Holness started a 20 month prison sentence in Mariana, Florida.


Included in the charging documents filed Monday is a “waiver of indictment” which reads:

I understand that I have been accused of one or more offenses punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. I was advised in open court of my rights and the nature of the proposed charges against me.

After receiving this advice, I waive my right to prosecution by indictment and consent to prosecution by information.

In cases where punishment may be longer than one year, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure require a defendant be indicted by a grand jury. According to Federal criminal defense lawyers, Prosecutors may ask a defendant to waive the indictment requirement as part of a plea agreement which includes defendant’s cooperation in building cases against co-conspirators or other potential defendants.

It is unclear if Omar Smith is co-operating with Federal authorities. Damara Holness signed a similar waiver but a year later, prosecutors told a Federal Judge that Holness never co-operated and never revealed the whereabouts of $181,000 in cash.

Unlike Damara Holness, Omar Smith may have information that goes beyond PPP loan fraud.

As REDBROWARD documented for nearly ten years, Omar Smith played a major role in Dale Holness campaign operations. Smith helped form numerous controversial political action committees which aided Holness and his political allies. Smith used committees and other electoral processes to collect votes for Dale Holness and other favored candidates. Holness and Smith played key roles in the 2020 election which saw victories by Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, Broward Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott, and others.

Additionally, sources tell REDBROWARD that Smith’s A Star For I company received large unapproved payments by a South Florida municipality for work he may not have performed. One source claims a city employee, who is Smith’s close, personal friend, arranged the payment.

More to come…

Clueless Commissioner Steve Glassman’s Plan To “Relaunch Lauderdale:” Car Hops And Festivals In Alleys!?!

Every time Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman opines on public policy he offers more proof of his backbencher status. On Monday, Glassman, the former owner of a Buffalo hair salon, offered his plan to “Relaunch Lauderdale.” There was little fanfare surrounding the announcement because most people tend to ignore Steve Glassman.

As usual, Glassman turned to social media to garner some attention for his “announcement.”

In his announcement, Glassman concedes this is not really his plan. He admits fellow backbencher Mayor Dean Trantalis and his reopen “Working Group” came up with this silly plan. No mention whether Trantalis/Glassman adviser Blake MacDiarmid (R-Lobbyist) hatched this turkey.

First, Glassman makes the laughable claim that Fort Lauderdale led the way when COVID-19 forced the shutdown of Broward County. He laments the loss of Spring Break and all its revenue. Movers and shakers in Fort Lauderdale have not missed Spring Breakers since they chased them out of town in 1980s.

As a condo dweller, it’s no surprise Glassman’s manifesto calls on multi-unit dwellings to control the opening of their private property. “Let them decide which amenities to open responsibly and safely and which should remain closed,” Glassman writes.

Yet when dealing with private businesses like restaurants, Glassman and Trantalis think they know better. For some reason, these guys appear to believe the only restaurants in Fort Lauderdale are located on the beach or Las Olas Boulevard.Glassman wants to “Spread Out On Sunrise Lane” by allowing patio seating in front of The Parrot Lounge and Yo Mama Ice Cream. Glassman says, “Customers will be able to ease their way back into our local economy on the beach in an open air marketplace and unique eating experience.”

On Las Olas, Trantalis and Glassman would eliminate on street parking. The busy boulevard would become one lane each way with the new seating and pedestrian walkways taking up a lane of traffic.

Glassman and Trantalis would create “pop up shopping experiences” in empty parking lots and alleyways to “jump start our economy.” The plan would move shopping to “tents and stations” with “car hops“ delivering clothes and food to your cars!

As for the beach itself, Glassman and Trantalis call for the beach to be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in May with no “congregating” allowed. Towels, blankets and chairs would be outlawed. Parking along A1A would remain closed.

Clearly, Glassman and Trantalis never heard of Adam Smith and his “invisible hand.” Local businesses don’t need advice from backbencher politicians and their cronies. Local residents don’t need Steve Glassman and Dean Trantalis micromanaging their shopping trips to Las Olas and outings on the beach.

Just lift your orders, stop harassing local businesses and get out of our way.