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State official resigns among questions of scandal

On March 12, a lieutenant governor submitted a brief letter of resignation that expressed her honor in serving her state after she was questioned regarding a federal probe. Speculations surrounded her involvement in Internet crimes and racketeering charges from Internet cafés supposedly containing illegally used slot machines after 57 other people that were connected to the same company were taken into custody. Like Wisconsin, Florida laws prohibit the use of slot machines for gambling purposes.

Florida's Department of Law Enforcement personnel questioned her although additional information regarding her involvement in the case is unknown. The governor believed her resignation was the right thing to do under the circumstances. Another staff member for the governor related that she did not want the investigation to distract the current administration.

The former lieutenant governor represented the questionable firm and created a television commercial for them. The company runs fundraising centers as Internet cafes throughout Florida and other states. However, an IRS agent's search warrant affidavit claimed they operated slot machines, breaking state gambling laws and profiting while attempting to pass themselves off as a charitable organization. The scandal has provoked some politicians to call for bills that would place a moratorium on all Internet cafes.

In light of the information regarding the company's source of funding, politicians who received financial contributions from the agency are assessing the donations. One politician requested that the money be given to charity. Another politician refused money from the company but may have inadvertently taken contributions from one of their subsidiaries.

The former lieutenant governor could be charged with federal crimes related to her involvement with the Internet cafes. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to prove that she did not knowingly become involved in illegal activity.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns amid federal Internet café probe," Aaron Deslatte, Amy Pavuk and Rene Stutzman, March 14, 2013

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