Friday, May 11, 2012

Florida Cop Accused Of Claiming Improper Homestead Tax Break Dodges Felony Conviction With Plea Deal; Quits Force

In Monroe County, Florida, the Florida Keys Keynoter reports:

  • Although he avoided having a criminal record by entering into a plea agreement [...], whether suspended state law enforcement agent Vince Weiner will keep his police certification is still very much an open question.

  • Weiner, on extended leave from his job as a Keys-based agent for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, pleaded no contest to petit theft and paid $223 in court costs, $75 in prosecutorial fees and $40 to the FDLE in investigative fees; presiding Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones withheld adjudication.

  • Weiner, 47, was charged last Aug. 17 with felony grand theft and misdemeanor homestead-exemption fraud. Here's what prosecutors allege: Weiner bought a Big Pine Key house in 2005, then got assigned to Fort Myers in 2006. While living in Southwest Florida, Weiner rented his Keys house while still claiming the homestead exemption from 2007-10.

  • Florida homeowners are allowed one homestead exemption, which allows for a property-tax break on their permanent residence. It can be claimed only when the owner lives in the house.
For story update, see Disgraced FDLE agent quits following plea deal (Vince Weiner, a Keys-based Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent, will resign effective May 1 following his no-contest plea on Monday to petty theft).

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