Columbia County Man Indicted For Forced Labor And Theft Of Social Security Benefits
Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the return of a superseding indictment charging Guarino Edwards Broccoli, a/k/a Gary Broccoli, a/k/a Gary Edwards (53, Fort White), with three counts of theft of Social Security benefits and one count of forced labor with aggravated sexual abuse. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment per count for the benefit theft offenses, and up to life in prison for the forced labor charge. The indictment also notifies Broccoli that the United States intends to forfeit his residence and $284,278, representing the proceeds received from the theft of Social Security benefits.
According to the superseding indictment, Broccoli is charged with theft of child auxiliary benefits for two minor children and theft of disability benefits. He is also charged with knowingly providing and obtaining the services of a female victim by means of force and threats of force, causing her to believe that if she did not perform such labor and services she would suffer serious harm. It is also alleged that this offense included aggravated sexual abuse.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Department of the Treasury Office of Inspector General, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.
This investigation is ongoing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking other potential victims related to this individual and/or the location listed in this indictment. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the FBI -Jacksonville Field Office at 904-248-7000.