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Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns amid racketeering investigation

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns amid racketeering investigation
Jennifer Carroll, former Florida State Representative and former Florida Lt. Gov. (File/UPI/Florida House of Representatives)

Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned Wednesday, and Governor Rick Scott's chief of staff released a statement saying the decision was a result of federal investigation into Allied Veterans of the World.

Officials from Allied Veterans and Nelson Cuba, the president of the Jacksonville Florida Order of Police, were arrested on racketeering charges after an investigation by the IRS and Secret Service. Allied Veterans is accused of money laundering, using money from a nonprofit for personal gain and misrepresenting the amount donated to charities.

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Authorities say the group donated just 2 percent of its $290 million in proceeds to charities over about five years. They also say the former president received more than $1.5 million and the national commander got $250,000 from the organization.

A firm Carroll owned, 3N & JC, did consulting and public relations work for Allied Veterans, and she starred in a commercial for the nonprofit in 2010 while she was a member of the Florida House of Representatives.

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At the same time, Carroll introduced legislation to legalize sweepstakes games like those in cafes operated by Allied Veterans. Allied Veterans and other Internet cafe operators took advantage of a loophole in state law to operate online gambling. Carroll later withdrew the proposed law, saying it was filed by an aide and that she wasn't interested in legalizing Internet cafes.

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Carroll served in the House from 2003 to 2010, becoming the first African-American female Republican to be elected. Scott selected her as his running mate in September 2010 and they took office in January 2011.

Carroll's previous bad press include a 2012 scandal wherein former aide Carletha Cole accused Carroll of "nepotism and misuse of office for sexual escapade." Although Cole passed a polygraph, inadmissible in court, Carroll stated that it couldn't be true because "Usually black women that look like me don't engage in [lesbian] relationships like that."

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