A former supervisor for the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts was arrested after authorities said he stole more than $100,000 in filing fees and deposit funds over a two-year period.
Tyrone Derise Smith, Jr., 35, was charged with grand theft over $100,000 and organized scheme to defraud over $50,000, both first-degree felonies, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
Smith had served almost 11 years as an employee in the New Suits Section of the Family Court Division until he resigned on June 4, 2018.
After Smith's resignation, an internal review was launched after the discovery of missing funds, the state attorney's office said.
According to the state attorney's office, a man had complained about the lack of movement of his civil case through the court system, and a search of the court's database showed he hadn't paid the filing fee.
The man insisted he had paid the fee in cash and had a receipt as proof, but investigators saw that the receipt was fake.
The issue prompted an audit of all of Smith’s transactions between August 2016 through April 2018, which revealed 201 cases processed by Smith that appeared in the database as filed cases yet failed to show collected filing fees, the state attorney's office said.
The filing fees, which had all been paid in cash, totaled $80,817, and some of the customers also had the fake receipts, prosecutors said.
Investigators searched Smith’s work computer and found a saved form which could produce the same fake receipt, the state attorney's office said.
Between the filing fees and more than $28,000 in deposit funds that had been stolen, the total financial loss to the State of Florida and the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts was $108,938.16, prosecutors said.
Smith was booked into jail, and attorney information wasn't available.
"When government employees steal, they not only grab the public’s money, but they squander the public’s trust in their local government," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "Such actions betray our community and can never be accepted or tolerated."
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