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State cops, prosecutors were ready to charge U.S. Rep. David Rivera before case fell apart

In the summer of 2011, the arrest of U.S. Rep. David Rivera seemed all but certain.

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had waded through piles of credit-card receipts and banking records, tracing thousands of dollars from Rivera’s political campaigns to his personal accounts. Miami-Dade prosecutors were preparing a “draft” complaint charging the Republican congressman with 52 counts of theft, money laundering and racketeering.

The lengthy probe of Rivera’s finances “unequivocally explains the theft and/or fraud of campaign funds,” FDLE inspector Brett Lycett wrote in a July 5, 2011, e-mail to a prosecutor. “We believe the violations are quite evident.”

But in the ensuing months — after Rivera’s lawyer poked holes in the case — the investigators’ confidence gave way to prosecutors’ increasing skepticism about the potential charges. The 52-count complaint accusing Rivera of systematic misspending of campaign funds was never filed; instead, prosecutors would write a 16-page memo explaining why they believed they could not arrest Rivera for anything.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/15/2894708/state-cops-prosecutors-were-ready.html#storylink=cpy

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