ANOTHER ISAAC, ANOTHER INVESTIGATION

Isaac Aelion is not alone in his legal troubles.  Former Candidate Isaac Feldman has also made headlines for his alleged involvement in a criminal organization.  According to the FBI press release at http://www.fbi.gov/miami/press-releases/2011/mm041511a.htm,

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Carlos Noriega, Chief, Miami Beach Police Department; and Michael Shea, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, announced the indictment of 15 individuals, charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, substantive wire fraud counts, one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 18 counts of fraud regarding immigration documents,  and one count of bribery of a government official.  These individuals were previously charged by complaint for their involvement in a scheme to defraud unwitting out-of-state businessmen and tourists out of thousands of dollars through exorbitant alcohol charges incurred at private South Beach clubs owned and operated by the defendants.

Among those charged in the indictment was Isaac Feldman, who is accused of being one of several organizers and/or investors in the criminal organization, which owned and operated numerous private clubs in South Beach. The organization allegedly brought Eastern European women into the United States to work as “Bar Girls” or “B-Girls,” to lure out-of town businessmen and tourists (the victims) from legitimate South Beach clubs to the defendants’ private clubs. The defendants targeted tourists and out-of-town businessmen.

At the private clubs, the defendants would charge the victims exorbitant prices for bottles of alcohol. The B-Girls would order bottles of wine or champagne and charge them to the victims’ credit card, sometimes without the victims’ knowledge. The charges were often unsigned, unauthorized, or the victims’ signatures would be forged. When the victims disputed the charges, the defendants either threatened to have the victims arrested at the scene or presented the credit card companies with photographs of the defendants and the B-Girls at the private club as proof of the charge. Typically, B-Girls would keep 20 percent of what they brought in; private club managers would keep 10 percent.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud related count; 10 years in prison for each count of fraud in connection with immigration documents; five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with immigration documents; and 15 years in prison for the bribery count.

An indictment is only an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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