Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Glades Kid Celebrated by Boy and Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club was credited with saving a young students grades, helping him study harder and take advantage of tutoring services. Glades Central High School senior Jermaine Lovely, is now being credited by them, naming him the 2022 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year. Finalists competed for the county title and the right to compete for the state title. Lovely was named the winner after several rounds of essays, interviews and speeches. All finalists received a four-year Florida Prepaid College Scholarship, while Lovely received a four-year university scholarship plus room and board. Lovely will move forward to compete for the state title April 6. He has been accepted to FAMU.

Local Woman Charged With Fraud

The Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) announced that Sammie Sue Doss was arrested for her role in an alleged fraudulent ADVANCE “fee for loan” scheme. She is charged with grand theft, fraudulent use of personal identifying information, and violating Florida’s loan broker laws. Victim losses are estimated to be more than $17,000. Doss allegedly assessed and collected advance fees, based on promises of securing mortgage loans. The loans never materialized, and some victims claim that Doss further pressured them to make additional payments. Doss, using the alias “Sammie Trevino,” was also a named respondent in an OFR examination of a licensed mortgage broker business, operating as AA Signature Mortgage, Inc., in Fort Myers. The OFR terminated the company’s license as a result of the examination. In 2011, as a result of an OFR and Collier County Sheriff’s Office investigation, Doss pled ‘no contest’ to a third-degree felony charge for a similar advance “fee for loan” scheme. She was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay restitution and fees. The case was investigated by the OFR, and the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office executed the arrest warrant.

ICE Facility in Glades County No Longer Receiving Detainees

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer send immigrant detainees to jails that have been the subject of complaints, according to agency officials. That includes one facility, right in our back yard. ICE will halt detentions at Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven, amid concerns about medical care at the facility. ICE officials cited “persistent and ongoing concerns related to the provision of detainee medical care,” and a desire to save costs, describing the Glades facility as “lacking operational significance.” ICE officials said in an interview that, the latest closures are part of a review of detention facilities that began last year. Officials have already closed a pair of facilities in Georgia and Massachusetts, citing subpar conditions, and stopped the detention of migrant families altogether.

Belle Glade Man to Serve Prison Time in Tax Scheme

A Florida tax return preparer was sentenced to 97 months in prison for preparing false tax returns for his clients. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Fred Pickett Jr., of Belle Glade, owned and operated a tax return business he used to prepare false income tax returns. From 2013 to 2016, Pickett prepared tax returns for some of his clients claiming they owned fictitious businesses that lost tens of thousands of dollars each year. Pickett included these nonexistent companies, as well as other false deductions and tax credits, on his clients’ returns to get them refunds they weren’t supposed to get. In December 2021, Pickett was convicted at trial of 22 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns. In addition to prison, Pickett was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and pay nearly $170,000 in restitution to the IRS.

Program to Potentially Provide Tuition Reimbursement

Palm Beach State College recently announced its Money-Back Guarantee programs. Nursing, dental hygiene, respiratory care, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration mechanics/installers, electrician and welding were presented as the inaugural Money-Back Guarantee programs. Students who enroll and complete any of the Money-Back Guarantee programs, who are not employed within six months after graduation, are now eligible to request a refund of their tuition. The Money-Back Guarantee program is a part of House Bill 1507 and the Reimagining Education and Career Help Act (REACH), which was passed last legislative session. To learn more about the program, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu.