Inside Job: Miami Cop Robs Crime Stoppers

A Miami cop and two buddies stole $14,000 in unclaimed rewards

City of Miami Police Officer Wayne Fortella wanted his fair share of rewards for locking up bad guys, so, according to federal attorneys, he decided to steal it.

Fortella and two other people were arrested for scheming money from the county's crime tipster hotline, Crime Stoppers, and cashing checks totaling more than $14,000 in unclaimed rewards.

Fortella, Kurt Burgess and Ainsworth Stanley were charged with wire fraud and conspiring to commit wire fraud, both federal offenses. Stanley is still on the run, investigators said.

The U.S. Attorneys Office had been investigating Fortella, an 11-year veteran on the force, and his crew for some time before finally nailing them.

Ironically, it's unclear who dropped a dime on Fortella and his crew. Investigators claim they have the trio plotting on surveillance video cameras and taps.

The scheme was pretty simple.

Fortella, who worked in the Crime Stoppers Unit as a detective, would pass along information to Burgess and Stanley from anonymous tipsters. The two civilians would then use the information to come forward and collect any reward payments that had not yet been collected by the actual tipsters.

If convicted, Fortella faces 20 years in prison.

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