Tallahassee City Commissioner and Political Consultant Charged in Racketeering Conspiracy
The Tallahassee, Florida City Commissioner Scott Charles Maddox, 50, and Tallahassee political consultant Janice Paige Carter-Smith, 53, both of Tallahassee, have been indicted in a 44-count indictment for conspiring to operate a racketeering enterprise that engaged in acts of bank fraud, extortion, honest services fraud and bribery.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Attorney for the United States, Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515 Karen Rhew-Miller for the Northern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Charles Spencer of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Mary Hammond of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.
Maddox and Carter-Smith are also charged with substantive counts of bank fraud, false statements to financial institutions, extortion, honest services fraud, the use of interstate facilities in furtherance of bribery, false statements to federal officers, conspiracy to interfere with the lawful function of the IRS, and filing false tax returns. The initial appearance is scheduled for today, Dec. 12, at 3:00 p.m. EST at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee in the Magistrate Judge’s Courtroom on the main floor. The trial date will be determined at this hearing.
Maddox and Carter-Smith allegedly conspired to operate two companies, Governance Inc., and Governance Services LLC, as one entity they referred to as “Governance.” Per the indictment, Governance was part of a racketeering enterprise that extorted money and accepted bribes from Governance clients under color of Maddox’s office and through fear of the economic harm that Maddox could inflict in his position as an influential City Commissioner. The indictment alleges that Maddox voted on matters and exerted influence on City employees to take actions that benefitted the businesses that paid Maddox and Carter-Smith through Governance.
According to the charges, Maddox and Carter-Smith made false statements to the FBI concerning Maddox’s affiliation with, and management of Governance and Governance Services. The indictment alleges that during the course of the conspiracy, Maddox made false statements under oath to a Florida Commission on Ethics investigator and in a sworn deposition about his affiliation with Governance. He also concealed from the Tallahassee City Attorney and the City Commission the fact that he was being paid by companies doing business with the City.
The indictment further alleges that Maddox and Carter-Smith also defrauded a bank of more than $250,000 through two fraudulent short sales of real property, lied to federal agents about Governance and other matters, and violated federal tax laws by conspiring to interfere with the IRS and filing false tax returns.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Simon J. Cataldo and Peter M. Nothstein of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Kunz of the Northern District of Florida.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.