Lauren Linville “Proud To Say” Just 12% Of Campaign Money Came From Coconut Creek Residents; No Mention Of Big Bucks From The GEO Group

Nearly 88% of campaign contributions to City Commission candidate Lauren Linville came from outside the city limits, Coconut Creek elections records show. On February 9th, Linville sent an email to supporters touting her support from Coconut Creek residents. “Finally, I am proud to say that to date, nearly $3,000 from Coconut Creek [r]esidents have (sic) been donated to our campaign,” Linville wrote. However, a review of the January camapign treasurer’s report tells a different story.

According to her campaign treasurer’s report, Lauren Linville raised $13,635 in January. Linville also made a $10,000 loan to her campaign.
The report shows a total of 65 contributions to her campaign, but only 14 contributors live in Coconut Creek.

The total amount of $1,585 was raised from these 14 contributors. An amount that is not “nearly $3,000” as Linville claimed. If you include the $1,000 contribution from Linville’s company, Consult Optimum LLC, the total amount raised from a Coconut Creek address jumps to $2,585.

One of Lauren Linville’s largest contributions came from the senior vice president of The GEO Group, one of the largest private prison companies in the world. The GEO Group operates the ICE immigrant detention center near Coconut Creek. In 2019, protesters were arrested at the company’s headquarters in Boca Raton. The Sun-Sentinel reported, “[P]rotesters did not align with one particular organization but were known affiliates of groups such as Food Not Bombs Fort Lauderdale, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.”

In January, Lauren Linville, a Democrat, denied hiding her former employment at The GEO group from Coconut Creek voters.

According to online databases, from 2011 to 2015 Lauren Linville held numerous positions at The GEO Group. These positions included executive assistant, contracts administrator, research analyst for the business development department and a promotion to project management in the business development department. Linville even authored articles for the company’s GEO World magazine.

No GEO Group work history appears on Linville’s LinkedIn profile. She lists her work at Optimum Consulting, service in the U.S. Coast Guard reserve and a one year position at Youngstown State University in the veterans affairs department.

And when she applied for a seat on a Coconut Creek board, Linville submitted a paper copy of her resume. It lists Optimum Consulting and the U.S. Coast Guard. Nothing about The GEO Group.

When contacted by REDBROWARD about her work at The GEO Group, Linville wrote, “Yes, it was my first job out of college, but I was recalled to active service for the majority of my time (three years to be exact) with Geo Group. I subsequently left shortly after returning home from Active Duty.”

When asked why GEO Group does not appear on her resume, Linville wrote, “I don’t put it on my resume any longer because it was such a long time ago and is generally not relevant to work I’m seeking currently. As recently as 2-3 years ago I still had it on my resume.”

REDBROWARD asked why an older job is listed on her LinkedIn page, Linville replied, “[Youngstown State University] is where I went to school and worked as a VA rep, and I believe there is a recommendation from my supervisor I wanted to keep.”

Finally, REDBROWARD asked Linville if she wanted to keep her work at The GEO Group a secret from Coconut Creek voters.

Lauren Linville said, “No.”

While Linville downplayed her employment at The GEO Group, she was able to secure a $1,000 contribution from GEO Group Senior Vice President David Venturella.

According to The GEO Group website, “Mr. Venturella joined The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO), in 2012 as an Executive Vice President. In 2014, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Client Relations. Mr. Venturella is responsible for leading GEO’s client relations efforts.”

Venturella is no stranger to Democrat activists who oppose private prisons and immigration detention centers.

In 2013, USA TODAY exposed a deportation quota system which targeted immigrants accused of minor crimes.

“Among those new tactics — detailed in interviews and internal e-mails — were trolling state driver’s license records for information about foreign-born applicants, dispatching U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to traffic safety checkpoints conducted by police departments, and processing more illegal immigrants who had been booked into jails for low-level offenses. Records show ICE officials in Washington approved some of those steps.”

Several emails cited were written by David Venturella, then an ICE official.

“The only performance measure that will count this fiscal year is the criminal alien removal target,” David Venturella, who then supervised ICE’s field offices, said in…an e-mail to agents in Atlanta.

Thanks to her ties to The GEO Group and her controversial comments equating the Black Lives Matter (BLM) with ISIS, Lauren Linville lost the support of key progressive leaders in Broward County.

Coconut Creek voters will decide in March if they want leaders with so little support from local residents.

Democrat Candidate Lauren Linville Denies Hiding Her Work History At The Geo Group From Coconut Creek Voters

Like any politician, Lauren Linville is not shy when it comes to sharing her resume. Linville, a Democrat candidate for Coconut Creek Commission, regularly mentions her work with a local women’s club, her own crisis management company and even her service in the United States Coast Guard. Despite having a degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University, Linville never mentions working for one of the largest private prison companies in the world.

Based in Boca Raton, The GEO Group “provides complementary, turnkey solutions for numerous government partners worldwide across a spectrum of diversified correctional and community reentry services.” GEO claims to operate 123 facilities all over the world with 23,000 employees. Closer to home, The GEO Group operates the “Broward Transitional Center” in Deerfield Beach for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

The GEO Group faced protests from progressive groups opposed to their treatment of teenaged immigrants at the Broward facility. In 2019, protesters were arrested at the company’s headquarters in Boca Raton. The Sun-Sentinel reported, “[P]rotesters did not align with one particular organization but were known affiliates of groups such as Food Not Bombs Fort Lauderdale, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.”

Last week, REDBROWARD revealed Lauren Linville made disparaging remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM).

“I’m so sick of all these ‘movements’…Black Lives Matter, ISIS, Radical Islam, LGBT Hate groups…. They’ve done nothing but disappoint, hate, kill and create pain for others,” Linville said.

After a backlash from prominent Democrats, including local BLM leader Jasmine Rogers, Linville played the victim in a tepid apology posted on Facebook.

Linville blamed military weight restrictions, postpartum depression and terrorist attacks for her comments equating BLM with ISIS and radical Islam.

Is Lauren Linville trying to keep Coconut Creek voters in the dark about her job at The GEO Group?

DEEP TIES TO GEO GROUP KEPT OFF CANDIDATE’S RESUME

According to online databases, from 2011 to 2015 Lauren Linville held numerous positions at The GEO Group. The positions included executive assistant, contracts administrator, research analyst for the business development department and a promotion to project management in the business development department. Linville even authored articles for the company’s GEO World magazine. Last year, Linville started a website promoting local businesses with another GEO Group alum.

While Linville boasts about the “Gather Later” website she created with Robin Verse, her jobs at The GEO Group are never mentioned.

No GEO Group work history appears on Linville’s LinkedIn profile. She lists her work at Optimum Consulting, service in the U.S. Coast Guard reserve and a one year position at Youngstown State University in the veterans affairs department.

When she applied for a seat on a Coconut Creek board, Linville submitted a paper copy of her resume. It lists Optimum Consulting and the U.S. Coast Guard. Nothing about The GEO Group.

REDBROWARD contacted Lauren Linville about her work at The GEO Group. In a reply via text message, Linville wrote, “Yes, it was my first job out of college, but I was recalled to active service for the majority of my time (three years to be exact) with Geo Group. I subsequently left shortly after returning home from Active Duty.”

Linville did not respond to questions about her job duties, promotions or her work with Robin Verse.

When asked why GEO Group does not appear on her resume, Linville wrote, “I don’t put it on my resume any longer because it was such a long time ago and is generally not relevant to work I’m seeking currently. As recently as 2-3 years ago I still had it on my resume.”

But when asked why an even older job is listed on her LinkedIn page, Linville replied, “[Youngstown State University] is where I went to school and worked as a VA rep, and I believe there is a recommendation from my supervisor I wanted to keep.”

Finally, REDBROWARD asked Linville if she wanted to keep her work at The GEO Group a secret from Coconut Creek voters.

Lauren Linville said, “No.”

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Pro-Sarahnell Murphy For Broward State Attorney PAC Heavily Funded By Company Linked To Ponzi Scheme Cases

A Tallahassee-based political committee supporting Broward State Attorney candidate Sarahnell Murphy received $110,000 in contributions from a company tied to Ponzi schemes. Last week, Broward Democrat voters received pro-Murphy mailers from the Victims Have Rights committee. Murphy is seeking the Democrat nomination to replace longtime Broward State Attorney Michael Satz.

According to official campaign records, the Victims Have Rights Committee is chaired by lobbyist Foyt Ralston. On June 24, 2020, Victims Have Rights received a $25,000 contribution from International Payout Systems, Inc of Fort Lauderdale. The company is better known as “I-Payout.”

In July, International Payout Systems, Inc. gave two contributions totaling $55,000 to the Victims Have Rights committee. Another $30,000 contribution was made by Integrated Data Technology, a company with the same address as I-Payout.

The only other major contribution to the Victims Have Right political committee came from the candidate herself. On March, 10, 2020, Sarahnell Murphy gave $10,000 to Victims Have Rights.

PONZI?

In 2014, Canadian authorities arrested Nicholas Smirnow on numerous charges involving a $70 million dollar Ponzi scheme:

In 2010 it was reported that Nicholas Smirnow, who was also a resident of Florida, was facing a total of 10 fraud and conspiracy charges in the United States.

The United States Attorney General’s office alleges the accused, through the online company Pathway-2-Prosperity, also known as the P2P Network, promised annual rates of return in some cases as high as 17,000 per cent with little risk.
While some people made money, most investors lost everything, according to a press release. The alleged value of the Ponzi scheme was $70 million.

According to published reports, Smirnow’s victims numbered more than 40,000 people from 46 states:

Those investors, including people in Missouri, almost half of the counties in southern Illinois and 46 other states, were lured in by a website that promised returns of 500 percent to 700 percent or more in the “Pathway to Prosperity.” The website cited the investment savvy of a mysterious figure who was offering opportunities long denied the “common man.”

But, prosecutors say, investors were never told that the man running the investment was a convicted burglar, robber and drug dealer who told a former employee that he was involved in a double homicide.

A 2010 affidavit from a U.S. Postal Inspector details the role I-Payout played in Smirnow’s scheme:

International Payout Systems, which was located in Florida, provided the infrastructure necessary for P-2P Energy, Ltd. to operate. Solid Trust Pay and International Payout Systems provided spread sheets which identify deposits and withdrawals from the accounts ofP-2-P and P-2-P’s customers.

In 2015, a Federal class action suit was brought by victims of an Internet telephone based Ponzi scheme:

Internet phone company TelexFree ran a $1 billion Ponzi scam based on “mindless spamming” by people it “ostensibly paid” to recruit new suckers, a member claims in a federal class action.
Lead plaintiff Rita Dos Santos, of Massachusetts, claims she lost $350,000 to “TelexFree’s pyramid scheme.”
She sued TelexElectric and Telex Mobile Holdings on Wednesday, and a slew of banks, attorneys and others, including 13 top officers and promoters. Many of the individual defendants in the 244-page lawsuit are sued at their “last known address.”
TelexFree Inc., TelexFree LLC and TelexFree Financial (of Massachusetts, Las Vegas and Florida) are not named as defendants because they are in bankruptcy.

One of the named defendants was International Payout Systems, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale.

In the complaint, the defendants alleged International Payout Systems (IPS) performed a legally required background check of TelexFree which, “discovered indicia of fraud, illegality, and red flags. Despite this knowledge, and despite having a history of being involved in past Ponzi Schemes, IPS took on TelexFree as a customer.”

The lawsuit alleges I-Payout “held as much as $31,640,92,000 in assets.

In 2013, I-Payout attempted to defend its role in the TelexFree matter in emails to a financial watchdog website. I-Payout claimed to have performed its “due diligence” into the company. The financial watchdogs were not impressed:

Affiliate investors across America are dumping their life savings into TelexFree on the expectation of a $20 a week ROI paid out for every $289 invested with the company. But i-Payout would have you believe TelexFree is wholly compliant because they had a few beers with the owners down at their Massachusetts virtual office space.

Sounds bulletproof to me.

International Payout Systems, Inc. was never charged with any crime for its role with Nicholas Smirnow or TelexFree.

YOU COULD BE A HITMAN!

REDBROWARD wanted ask I-Payout CEO Edwin Gonzalez about his company’s $110,000 contribution to support Sarahnell Murphy. “I have no clue how you got my cellphone number,” Gonzalez said. At first, Gonzalez claimed to have no knowledge about the contributions.

“I will have to ask my finance department about it and get back to you,” he said.

This reporter asked if he knew Sarahnell Murphy or her husband, Richard Merlino and why he was interested in the Broward State Attorney’s race. Gonazalez refused to answer the simple questions.

Gonzalez refused to say whether someone instructed him to make the huge contributions to the Victims Have Rights committee.

Gonzalez said, “I have no clue who you are. You say you’re a reporter, but for all I know you could be a hitman!”

According to Sarahnell Murphy’s official campaign finance reports, Edwin Gonzalez is well aware of Murphy. On June 18, 2020, Gonzalez gave a $1,000 personal contribution to Sarahnell Murphy. On the same day, I-Payout gave another $1,000 directly to Sarahnell Murphy’s campaign.

Edwin Gonzalez, courtesy WSVN

Sarahnell Murphy told REDBROWARD she would comment after working hours at the Broward State Attorney’s Office. We will update story if Murphy does respond.

Why does a Broward State Attorney candidate need $110,000 from a controversial company? That amount will buy more than a mailer or two. Is I-Payout funding a TV advertising blitz for Sarahnell Murphy?

Broward State Attorney Michael Satz with Sarahnell Murphy