TAMPA — Investigators searching an SUV after the rescue of Alisa Summers on Monday found a chilling letter written by her captor-husband, addressed to their five children.
In it, Trevor Summers rued the divorce that had torn the family apart.
"So we have ended it for your sake," he wrote, according to court documents. "We wish you the best in everything you do and will be watching you from heaven."...
TAMPA — A Town 'N Country hair stylist made $75,000 injecting bootleg, misbranded silicone into clients' buttocks, federal court records allege.
But one bottom belonged to an undercover operative, and now Isabel Colmenares, 56, could face prison time.
Colmenares, of 5609 Cresthill Drive, signed a federal plea agreement admitting to one count of receiving a misbranded drug or device with intent to deceive. The crime is punishable by as long as three years in prison....
A St. Petersburg doctor took kickbacks and asked a compounding pharmacy to buy him a new car in 2014 while helping the company dupe federal health insurers out of $5.3 million by peddling pricey creams, a grand jury charges.
He got the car, a $72,900 BMW M3, but now the federal government wants it forfeited.
Anthony Baldizzi prescribed pain creams, scar creams, migraine creams and anti-aging creams to patients receiving federal benefits, and the pharmacies billed as much as $21,000 for a month's supply, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday....
Palm Harbor millionaire Scott Patrick Mitchell's tale of soured romance traveled the Internet last Valentine's Day. He said his jilted fiancee had lifted jewelry worth $2.1 million from his safe.
But was it true?
In newly filed court records, Mary Catherine Hunt and attorney Barry Cohen say Mitchell cooked up the story to get back at her, after she left him.
"I have never been in the safe vault room in Scott Mitchell's guest house in my life, nor have I ever had a combination," Hunt said, denying Mitchell's charges....
TAMPA — When Jane Castor, the city's now-former police chief, fired a veteran Tampa detective on April 24, 2014, she alluded to a pending federal investigation and called Eric Houston's conduct "egregious."
But grand jury indictments alleging involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme by Houston and his ex-sergeant wife, LaJoyce Houston, wouldn't come for 18 months.
How did the chief get so opinionated?...
WHAT I ATE: When a burger joint advertises high-quality Akaushi beef and its motto is "We build a better burger," one's duty as a patron is crystal clear.
So I ordered a burger. The tougher part was choosing among 41 possible toppings on the menu at Burger Monger, a home-grown chain with grills throughout the Tampa Bay area, including one on Neptune Avenue in South Tampa.
You want Brie on that burger, maybe? A fried egg? Guacamole?...
Florida Supreme Court justices expressed disdain Thursday for the conduct of three Tampa lawyers who orchestrated the DUI arrest of a rival amid a high-profile lawsuit involving two radio shock jocks.
One of the three, Stephen Diaco, has already accepted permanent disbarment.
The other two, Robert D. Adams and Adam Filthaut, were before the court asking for a less severe form of disbarment that would allow them to reapply for admission to the Florida Bar after five years....
TAMPA — Two images of 66-year-old Kim Feldman emerged at her sentencing Tuesday in federal court.
One woman was an 89-pound native of Vietnam who, despite a college degree, was brought up to submit to her husband.
The other was a savvy pill mill manager who laundered money, not just clothes, and got her hands dirty in a business that on Monday landed the former Dr. Edward Feldman, 76, a 25-year prison sentence....
TAMPA — As a doctor, Edward Neil Feldman was supposed to relieve pain. Instead, he invited mourning. He was supposed to save lives, but a jury blamed him for three patient deaths.
The last life ruined was his own.
A federal judge Monday sentenced the 76-year-old man to 25 years in prison for heeding the call of greed by indiscriminately prescribing pain medications to addicts at his Pinellas Park clinic....
TAMPA — Some people steal cars. Some steal identities.
Terrell Tramone Brown, 48, did both, using a Texas stranger's good credit and Social Security number last August to buy an SUV from Dimmitt Cadillac in Clearwater, authorities charge.
It was an Escalade valued at $102,024.
The man pictured on the fake driver's license used in the deal was Brown, according to a Secret Service account, but the birth date and other details on the car loan application pertained to victim Craig Woodward....
Top finance man at Hillsborough program for disabled admits to diverting funds, misleading government in federal plea agreement05/18/16Criminal
TAMPA — The former chief financial officer of a program for disabled people admits in a court paper that he and others diverted $617,435 in Social Security payments, raiding client personal accounts for a decade to cover operating expenses.
Frank Pannullo, 69, is the third employee of the now-defunct Hillsborough Association for Retarded Citizens to enter into a federal plea agreement....
TAMPA — Hours after the Paris attacks in November, Martin Alan Schnitzler of Seminole called two Pinellas County mosques, threatening to shoot and firebomb anyone on sight, whether age 2 or 100.
What sort of man might do such a thing?
One with a college degree in English literature. One with a $22-an-hour job, who comes from a law enforcement family. And one who struggles with mental illness....
05/06/16 Human Interest
I never planned to stay at the Tampa Tribune, but I did so for 22 years before joining its rival in 2001.
In those years, I lost a father, mother, grandparents, an uncle and two dogs, yet always felt surrounded by people who cared about me.
My first editor schooled me in both description and billiards. Another crossed Tampa Bay in 1983 to show up uninvited at my father's funeral. When I bought a house in 1996, co-workers moved me in. That time, a boss cut the grass....
05/03/16 Human Interest
TAMPA — The history of the Tampa Tribune is a book 479 pages long.
But it was also a coffee mug perched high on a newsroom shelf in honor of an editor who died. It was a threadbare 100-year anniversary T-shirt. It was a college student red-faced that a publisher knew her name.
"Hey — how you?" Red Pittman would shout out in a Southern drawl, always dashing off....
TAMPA — Rose Radiology Centers alleges in a civil suit that lawyer Barry Cohen breached attorney-client privilege and helped hatch a new whistle-blower case against the health care company three years ago when it was already facing an existing one.
Cohen disputes all of it.
In a statement Monday, he called owner Manuel Rose's March 28 lawsuit in Hillsborough County Circuit Court "distorted, corrupt and unfounded."...