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Florida school district investigation is more than academic

Anyone who knows the name of the Florida school system that recently held a "Brain Bowl" competition among high school teams deserves a pat on the back. If you guessed the Leon County system, you were correct. And if you knew that Leon County Schools is also the focus of an FBI investigation, give yourself another pat.

FBI agents investigating allegations of bribery, fraud and theft in federally funded programs recently raided the school district's technology center, seizing email archives. Last fall, a federal grand jury issued a subpoena for documents related to 17 school construction projects over the past 8 years.

The documents sought with the search warrant pertained to not only construction projects, but campaign contributions, charity donations, tax deductions, federal funding, personnel matters and possible efforts to conceal evidence of criminal activities, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.

A former Assistant U.S. Attorney said that his reading of the search warrant indicates that investigators believe they know that crimes occurred and where to find evidence of the criminal acts.

In similar situations, people who believe they are suspects in an ongoing investigation should speak as soon as possible with a Florida defense attorney experienced in state and federal criminal tax violation defense, bribery cases and matters involving possible public corruption. An experienced attorney can help you avoid making mistakes that could hurt you at trial or in negotiations. An attorney can also, in certain circumstances, work with prosecutors to help you avoid indictment.

Please see our White-Collar Crimes page for more information about how the Orlando offices of Attorney Mark L. Horwitz can help you.