News and Press Releases

BUSINESSMAN SENTENCED FOR PURPORTING TO BRIBE LOCAL OFFICIALS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced that defendant Luke Facarazzo, Jr., was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment and fined $15,000 by United States District Court Judge Hurley. The federal advisory sentencing guideline range for Facarazzo was 15-21 months. However, in ordering the 24 month sentence for Facarazzo, Judge Hurley noted the seriousness of the offense.

Facarazzo had been the president and chief executive officer of Lukes’ Sawgrass Landscaping (Luke’s). In November, Facarazzo entered a plea of guilty to a one-count Information which charged a wire fraud conspiracy. As set forth in the information, undercover FBI agents were told by a coconspirator who worked for a construction company that the coconspirator needed to make three payments in the amount of $50,000 each to City of Miramar officials. The coconspirator claimed these payments were to be paid to the city officials for their assistance in awarding a contract to construct a multi-service center and sports complex in Miramar to the co-conspirator’s business. In order to disguise the payments, the coconspirator claimed that there was $150,000 built into the defendant’s landscaping company’s costs, which was earmarked specifically to pay kickbacks to City of Miramar officials.

The coconspirator claimed that the defendant could not pay out large amounts of cash directly from his landscaping business without causing suspicion, because the defendant’s company was part of a publicly traded company. The coconspirator requested that undercover FBI agents issue phony invoices totaling $50,000 through their company, Le Bec Asset Management, to the defendant’s company. Defendant Facarazzo agreed to then issue checks totaling $50,000 to Le Bec, that would then be converted to cash to be used for the alleged payoffs.

The undercover FBI agents issued the invoices to the coconspirator. Defendant Facarazzo then altered the invoices to insure that his company would honor them. The checks were then issued by defendant Facarazzo’s employer to the undercover agents for services that were never performed. Cash was provided to the coconspirator who claimed that he was going to pay the Miramar public officials.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Kaplan.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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