FL Lt. Gov. Resigns After She's Questioned By State Investigators

Politicians being accused of stealing money isn't that much of a surprise. But making money under false pretenses for a fund meant to benefit veterans? That's a whole other world of crooked -- not to mention, what these allegations do to tarnish her record as the first black politician elected to state-wide office in Florida:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll announced her resignation Wednesday, a day after she was questioned by authorities investigating possible illegal gambling at an Internet cafe company that she once represented.

The head of the company, Allied Veterans of the World, has been accused of a using the cafes as an illegal front for veterans' charity and keeping millions of dollars in profits.

Carroll's resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott, dated Tuesday, offered no details about her reason for leaving. But Scott's chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, said she was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with Allied Veterans of the World.

She resigned to ensure her ties to the company would not be a distraction for the administration, Hollingsworth said. Carroll, a Navy veteran, had owned a public relations firm that represented Allied Veterans, which operated Internet cafes and purchased software from International Internet Technologies.

According to an Internal Revenue Service affidavit filed in federal court, Allied Veterans evolved from a charitable organization that ran bingo games and held bake sales for veterans beginning in 1979 to a group suspected of operating more than 40 illegal for-profit gambling locations around Florida. The veterans charity was a fraud, according to the IRS.

"In an effort to mislead the public into believing that it is not profiting from an illegal gambling enterprise, Allied Veterans and others have engaged in a conspiracy and scheme to defraud," the affidavit said.

[...] The owner of the company accused of supplying the cafes with illegal gambling software was arrested Tuesday in Oklahoma. Chase Egan Burns, 37, faces charges of racketeering. He heads of Anadarko, Okla.-based International Internet Technologies.

Burns is accused of making $290 million after supplying the software in Florida and claiming the games' proceeds would benefit Allied Veterans. Oklahoma authorities said the group actually received only one percent of the money. Burns and his wife, 38-year-old Kristin Burns, both face extradition to Florida to face the charges..


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