Tag Archives: miami criminal defense attorney

DCF worker in Rilya’s case testifies in court

The first indication of trouble came in the form of Rilya Wilson’s case file: It seemed unusually thin.

State child welfare worker Dora Betancourt, who took over the 5-year-old foster child case in April 2002, examined the paperwork and noticed that no one had checked on Rilya in more than a year.

After a series of phone messages to Rilya’s foster mother, Betancourt came face-to-face with Geralyn Graham in the driveway of her Kendall home.

“Where’s Rilya?” Betancourt asked.

“Oh, I thought you were bringing her back,” Graham said, according to Betancourt, who testified Wednesday during Graham’s murder trial in Rilya’s disappearance.

Betancourt told jurors Wednesday that Graham’s story unfolded in a bizarre and confusing fashion. She said an unnamed Department of Children and Families worker whisked the 5-year-old away for some sort of mental health evaluation more than a year before

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/05/3127856/employee-who-discovered-rilya.html

Miami Rapper Bizzle Shot in front of Liberty City Car Wash

Robert Labranche was arrested 27 times, spent much of his early life in and out of jail and was so poor that he said he used to eat garbage while growing up in Liberty City.

But by the time he was in his mid-20s, Labranche had reinvented himself as a South Florida rapper named “Bizzle,” He was an entrepreneur known for paying it forward by helping to get kids in his community off the street.

He owned a car wash, an entertainment company, a window-tinting business and at one time ran a seafood restaurant. He was a father of two small children, whose last message about them would prove prophetic.

Labranche, 37, was shot multiple times Monday night outside his Liberty City car wash with his children in his SUV, parked just steps away. They were not injured and did not see their father killed, police said.

Labranche, whose music is popular in Miami-area strip clubs, created his own record label, Chowtime Entertainment in 2000. Two of his songs,  Lip-biting Animal, and  Naked Hustle, were considered strip-club anthems. He used social media to promote the songs, which were widely played in Florida nightclubs. He also organized massive parties aboard yachts and at clubs, featuring DJs and exotic dancers.

Two South Florida doctors sent to prison for 10 years in major Medicare scam

Two South Florida doctors convicted of conspiring to defraud Medicare through the nation’s largest mental-health racket were each sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday.

A federal jury in June convicted psychiatrists Mark Willner, 56, of Weston and Alberto Ayala, 68, of Coral Gables, the medical directors for American Therapeutic Corp., for their roles in a $205 million scheme to fleece the taxpayer-funded program for the elderly and disabled.

The 12-person jury found them not guilty on other healthcare fraud offenses.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz gave the two doctors the maximum prison sentence for their cruicial roles in the criminal conspiracy, and then ordered Willner to pay $57 million and Ayala $87 million to Medicare.

Justice Department prosecutors said the doctors prescribed $120 million worth of fraudulent psychotherapy sessions at ATC’s chain of clinics in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Willner and Ayala were paid $641,000 and $536,000, respectively, for their services, according to trial evidence.

Since Miami-based ATC’s chain was shuttered two years ago, 35 defendants have been charged in the case with the majority pleading guilty. The ringleader, business owner Lawrence Duran, received a 50-year prison sentence — the stiffest punishment ever for a Medicare fraud offender.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/02/3030400/two-south-florida-doctors-sent.html#storylink=cpy

Lawyer: Trayvon Martin was on his cellphone moments before he was shot

The attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family said he was on the phone with a girl, who heard the beginning of his fatal confrontation with a neighborhood watch captain.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/20/2703918/lawyer-girl-on-phone-with-trayvon.html#storylink=cpy

State senator calls for hearings into Stand Your Ground law

A state lawmaker is demanding the Legislature conduct hearings into the Stand-Your-Ground law following last month’s death of an unarmed Miami Gardens teen that has brought national media attention.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/20/2703579/state-senator-calls-for-hearings.html#storylink=cpy