Ex-Wackenhut managers facing White Collar criminal charges in Miami

Five former managers for Wackenhut Corporation, one of the nation’s oldest private security firms, are facing white collar criminal charges in Miami for allegedly billing Miami-Dade County for “ghost posts,” according to CBS4.

The allegations first came to light in November 2006, when the Miami-Dade police department’s Public Corruptions Investigations Bureau began investigating whether the county was being billed for hours when guards were not at their posts — known as “ghost posts.” The questionable billing dates to 2002.

With the high-profile collapse of corporate giants like Enron followed by the disaster on Wall Street, state and federal officials have grown more zealous in prosecuting managers for alleged criminal wrongdoing under their supervision. Unfortunately the enthusiasm has not come with the additional manpower and training such complex cases require. Here we have five employees facing criminal charges over whether or not guards were stationed at posts nearly a decade ago. The length of the investigation alone is enough to raise questions. An experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer will need to thoroughly review the results of this investigation and build a proper defense.

Investigators say the county was excessively billed $76,000 for 3,500 hours not worked between 2002 and 2005. While this may sound like a lot, it comes out to about 2.5 hours per day. CBS4 says county audits suggest over-billing may have been between $3 million and $6 million but there is apparently little or no proof of that or it would be alleged in the criminal charges.

Each of the five former managers is charged with a single county of racketeering.

The company said in a statement that it is confident the facts will show it did nothing wrong. It also said a federal judge found the county audits to be flawed and unreliable. The charges involve a 5-year contract the company had to patrol the Miami-Dade transit system, where it said crime drooped to a 15-year low.