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Daily Beast ranks Florida sixth most politically corrupt state

in Statewide by

Florida is the sixth most politically corrupt state in the nation, according to The Daily Beast:

In Florida, one recent Medicare fraud case soars to new heights. By all appearances Ihosvany Marquez was a legitimate businessman interested in community health, running eight health clinics in Miami and Orange County. But each clinic, in fact, had a fake owner who would sign for fraudulent charges for expensive treatments such as infusion therapy and injection therapy. Marquez then laundered the money through a car dealership and check cashing stores, to the tune of $61 million in total claims. Marquez used his windfall to live the high life, buying luxury cars, including a Lamborghini Gallardo, investing in racehorses and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on jewelry.

“Frankly, I’m surprised we’re not higher,’’ said state Sen. Dan Gelber, in an interview with Gary Fineout. “The truth of the matter is we are ground zero for fraud, economic predators, white-collar crime and corruption.”

The Daily Beast examined a wide range of available data to rank the level of corruption in all 50 states. Each of the following data sets was weighted equally:

Public corruption, 1998—2008: Convictions of elected and other public officials investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Department of Justice.

Racketeering and Extortion, 1998—2008: Code for organized crime convictions, also investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Forgery and Counterfeiting, 1999—2008: Arrest numbers for producing or distributing fake money and goods over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

Fraud, 1999—2008: Arrests for false statements or documents produced for personal gain over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

Embezzlement, 1999—2008: Arrests for surreptitious theft of money over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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