The former lead code compliance officer for Miami Beach was sentenced to 51 months in prison Tuesday for an extortion scheme in which he accepted cash payments from a club owner in exchange for immunity from potential code violations.
Jose L. Alberto was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and will have to pay $16,600, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola ordered.
Alberto, who oversaw and managed the city's code compliance officers, pled guilty in August of one count of conspiracy to commit extortion after prosecutors said he solicited a cash pay-off from a Miami Beach nightclub owner in exchange for not enforcing a large fine for a code violation in June 2011.
The nightclub owner reported the incident to the FBI, which began an undercover investigation. During the investigation, Alberto accepted 22 cash pay-offs for a total of $16,600 from either the nightclub owner or an undercover FBI agent posing as the nightclub's manager, prosecutors said.
Alberto also introduced various other code enforcement officers to undercover agent to help protect the nightclub. Those code enforcement officers also received cash pay-offs and have pled guilty to conspiring with Alberto to extort cash from the nightclub, prosecutors said.