Federal prosecutors charged Omar Miguel Smith with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud to fraudulently obtain a PPP Covid-19 relief loan on Monday. Smith is former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness’ campaign guru. In 2020, REDBROWARD was first to expose Smith’s controversial $300,000 PPP loan for his marketing company A Star For I.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, on his application for a $212,500 forgivable, federally-guaranteed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on behalf of A Star For I, Inc., “Smith claimed in the on-line loan application, and through supporting fraudulent payroll tax forms, that his company employed 30 people and spent an average of $85,000 each month on payroll. In fact, A Star For I, Inc had zero employees and no payroll expenses.” A Utah bank approved A Star For I, Inc.’s PPP loan application “based on the lies and wired $212,500 to the company’s bank account in Florida.”
Prosecutors alleged that after the money was deposited in July 2020, Omar Smith “spent the next few months creating a paper trail to make it appear as if A Star For I, Inc. in fact had employees and was spending the PPP money on legitimate, approved expenses.” According to the information, Smith issued checks from the company bank account made out to others who did little or no work for his company.
The U.S. Attorney charged Omar Smith with conspiring to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. If convicted, Smith faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Last month, Damara Holness, daughter of Dale Holness, started a lengthy prison sentence in Mariana, Florida for PPP loan fraud. Like Smith, Damara Holness was accused of making up employees and writing checks to accomplices to hide her fraud. According to authorities, Holness never returned more than $180,000 in cash.
REDBROWARD has documented Omar Smith’s extensive role in Dale Holness’ political campaigns and the campaign of Holness’ political allies. REDBROWARD was first to expose Omar Smith’s role in creating shady political action committees supporting Holness and his allies. The committees include the Federal political committee known as “People of Principle.”
On January 20, 2022, Tamarac Commissioner Bolton told his Facebook followers he was “Fighting for our residents today in Tallahassee…lobbying for State Dollars to come to our city.” But according to State elections records, the only dollars Bolton brought to Tamarac that day was a $500 personal loan to Tallahassee-based political committee he formed the previous day. Despite a plethora of political committees started by his business associates and allies, Bolton (D-Clown) opened the “Friends Of Marlon Bolton PAC” political committee on January 19, 2022. This committee is located at a UPS Store on North Monroe Street in Tallahassee. Marlon Bolton is listed as the Chairman and Treasurer of the new committee.
As previously reported by REDBROWARD, Marlon Bolton is tied to several existing political committee in Broward and Tallahassee.
Last month, REDBROWARD reported how Marlon Bolton answered the telephone number listed for a Tallahassee-based political committee tied to a mysterious 2020 voters guide and website. REDBROWARD called the Conservative Governance PAC, a political committee based at a PAK Mail store at 1563 Capital Circle S.E. in Tallahassee. The State records list Malucci Joseph as the chairperson, treasurer and registered agent of Conservative Governance PAC.
REDBROWARD revealed Malucci Joseph, a singer and active participant at services held at Marlon Bolton’s Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach church in North Lauderdale, is tied to multiple political committees which support Bolton. These include Go Tamarac Go PAC and Residents United PAC.
In December, Elijah Manley, a Democrat running for the Florida State House District 94 seat, made two payments to Happy Feet Advertising of Margate. REDBROWARD repeatedly documented the deep ties between Marlon Bolton and Happy Feet Advertising owner Trace Robinson. Instead of using Happy Feet’s Margate address, the Manley campaign listed the 1563 Capital Circle S.E. address used by Malucci Joseph and Conservative Governance PAC. State business records show this Tallahassee address is also used by 100 Volunteers Of Florida, a fictitious corporation owned by Happy Feet Advertising of Margate.
During the November 2020 election, some Broward residents received the “Our Florida Democracy” voters guide. The guide is still available on the Our Blue Broward website. The guide states it was produced by the Our Blue Democracy political committee located at 1563 Capital Circle S.E. address in Tallahassee.
The guide endorsed most of the Democrat candidates on the 2020 ballot. But a few candidates received special notice including pictures alongside Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. In addition to being pictured with the Presidential nominee, these special candidates received their own sections on the guide.
These candidates were Marlon Bolton, former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, the late Congressman Alcee Hastings, North Lauderdale Commissioner Regina Martin and Tamarac Commissioner Elvin Villalobos.
Federal records show Our Blue Democracy was formed in September 2020 by its treasurer Malucci Joseph. Our Blue Democracy used the same address and telephone number as the Conservative Converance PAC operated by Malucci Joseph.
Federal campaign reports show a September 18, 2020 contribution of $5,000 by Malucci Joseph. Four days later, Our Blue Democracy paid $3,309.34 to Minuteman Press of Coral Springs for mailing services and $900 to Xpress Color of Lauderdale Lakes for printing services. These are the same companies used by Residents United PAC, Conservative Governance PAC and Go Tamarac Go PAC.
REDBROWARD wanted to ask Broward resident Malucci Joseph why she opened so many Tallahassee based political committees.
This reporter called the Tallahassee telephone number listed for both committees: (850) 220-7853.
But Malucci Joseph did not answer the phone. Instead, Marlon Bolton answered our phone call.
“Hello?” Marlon Bolton said.
“Who’s this?” Bolton said.
This reporter identified himself and the publication and asked Bolton why he was answering a telephone number listed for two Tallahassee based political committees.
“Tom Lauder, I don’t consider you a real reporter?”
We stated that’s his opinion and asked what his role is with the Conservative Governance PAC, the Our Blue Democracy guide and the Our Blue Broward website.
Bolton said, “Tom Lauder, do you have any other questions, not related to these PACs?”
We asked Bolton if he had recently hired an attorney.
“Tom Lauder, do you have any other questions?”
We asked if he had been interviewed by any Federal, State or local law enforcement agents.
“Goodbye, Tom Lauder,” Bolton said.
While the Friends Of Marlon Bolton has a different Tallahassee address than Malucci Joseph’s Conservative Governance PAC, both committees share the same bank. Official documents for both committees list a Bank United branch on N. University Drive in Tamarac as the location of their bank accounts.
Oddly enough, Broward Vision PAC, a political committee operated by Happy Feet Advertising owner Trace Robinson, also does its banking at the Bank United branch at 5819 North University Drive in Tamarac.
Why does Marlon Bolton need a Tallahassee-based political committee?
Why does Bolton need any political committee? Local politicians rarely operate political committees.
Why are so many business associates of Marlon Bolton running political consulting businesses and political committees?
Did Tamarac taxpayers pay for Marlon Bolton’s trip to Tallahassee?