Fraud leads to prison, order to repay $1.5M
Rosa Barrett Herrera, owner of Covenant Construction Unlimited in New Port Richey, was sentenced Friday in federal court for a wire and mail fraud scheme in which authorities said she billed an invoice company for work her firm never performed. Herrera, 44, who previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and ordered to repay more than $1.5 million, which represents the proceeds of the fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. In a practice known as invoice factoring, businesses can sell their invoices to a third party and get paid up front. Then the third party collects the amounts due from the customers, keeping a cut. For six months in 2008, according to federal authorities, Herrera billed for construction work around Tampa Bay, including at the retail complex Trinity Town Center and numerous churches, but it was all fictitious.
NEW PORT RICHEY
500 dental patients brave the elements
Hundreds of people camped outside all night Thursday and dealt with stormy weather Friday to get free dental care at the annual Dentistry from the Heart event at Monticciolo General and Sedation Dentistry at 4530 Grand Blvd. in New Port Richey. Sixteen dentists, nine hygienists and 100 volunteers worked on 500 patients from 7 a.m. till after 5 p.m. Friday. Each person got the choice of a free procedure: 67 opted for fillings, 111 got cleanings and 322 had teeth extracted. The event began in 2001 and has now spread across the country. Dr. Vincent Monticciolo said more than 250 Dentistry from the Heart events are planned this year in the United States. At the New Port Richey event in 2009, dentists treated 523 people. For information, go to dentistryfromtheheart.org or call (727) 849-4246.
Historian to appear as Abraham Lincoln
Saint Leo University continues its Distinguished Speaker Series with "A Visit with Abraham Lincoln" at 7 p.m. Tuesday featuring well-known Lincoln interpreter Jim Getty in a one-man performance. As a historian, Getty brings accuracy and authenticity to his performances and allows the audience to see the leadership skills of the Civil War president. The Tuesday performance is scheduled during the week of Lincoln's birthday on Friday. Admission and parking are free. The performance will be held in the Student Community Center boardroom. The campus is at 33701 State Road 52, 4 miles east of Interstate 75 (exit 285).
Got plans for Valentine's Day? Check out the lineup of local concerts and dinners. Story, Pages 9-10.
A detailed list of obituaries is published in Section B.