Advertisement
  1. News

Federal prosecutors say father, daughter worked together in kickback scheme

Published Jun. 1, 2015

TAMPA — A former union leader was arrested Thursday on federal charges of orchestrating a kickback scheme with his daughter, court records show.

The two netted at least $250,000 by steering injured government employees to a local clinic, according to an indictment unsealed the same day.

Lenin V. Perez, a longtime president of the Tampa letter carriers union, coached injured government employees through the process of filing claims while working in his role as an owner of Federal Workers Compensation Consultants, the indictment said.

His daughter, Liane M. Perez-Rodriguez, who also was charged, has worked as a legal assistant at the Hillsborough County Public Defender's Office since 2002, records show.

Prosecutors say Perez made an agreement around November 2012 with the clinic, where his consulting firm guided "virtually every customer." In return, they say, Perez and Perez-Rodriguez received 15 to 20 percent of the profits from each referral.

The name of the clinic was not included in the indictment.

From that November until April 1, 2014, the clinic made 37 payments to Perez-Rodriguez's bank account, prosecutors allege. Those payments came in $6,750 chunks totaling more than $250,000.

Perez-Rodriguez then withdrew the payments and gave them to her father, keeping $50,000 for herself, the indictment states.

Hillsborough County Public Defender Julianne Holt — Perez-Rodriguez's employer — could not be reached for comment late Thursday. Records show a history between Holt and Perez.

In 2000, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement inquiry delved into allegations that Holt used her office to help friends take care of traffic violations. In particular, they asked about Perez — Holt's friend and former process server who contributed to her campaigns — and his requests for help to clear up tickets and other traffic violations for his carriers.

No one was arrested in connection with that case.

Perez and Perez-Rodriguez face two charges: conspiracy to receiving a kickback and falsification of records, documents or objects. The government also intends to seek repayment of $250,000.

This is not the first time that Perez was connected to a kickback scheme, and not the first time a daughter came up in court records.

Perez was sentenced in 2003 to 21 months in prison for receiving kickbacks after referring postal workers to a doctor, a chiropractor and a massage therapist.

On appeal, Perez claimed he was coerced into confessing to protect his daughter from prosecution. Family members, who spoke during his proceeding, said the government had been seeking the daughter's fingerprints and handwriting samples.

An appellate court upheld the conviction.

Contact Zack Peterson at zpeterson@tampabay.com. Follow @zackpeterson918.

Editor's note

This story has been updated to reflect the following clarification: Lenin Perez, who was arrested Thursday in connection with a kickback scheme, was president of the Tampa National Association of Letter Carriers. An article published Friday was unclear on this point.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Eric McNeil Jr., 25, faces a charge of second-degree murder and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, police said. Tampa Police Department
    A man was found dead on E Fowler Avenue near the railroad tracks. Now police have made an arrest.
  2. Yosvanys Infante, 29, faces a charge of first-degree murder according to police. Tampa Police Department
    Yosvanys Infante was linked to a fatal shooting that took place on Sept. 21, according to Tampa police.
  3. Parents of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a shooter killed 17 people in 2018, push petitions for 2020 ban on assault weapons in Florida. (Miami Herald) MIAMI HERALD  |
    After months of glitches, the Department of State is resorting to a paper workaround while ballot initiatives face higher costs.
  4. Guests of the Flying Bridge at the Tradewinds Resort, which is now under new ownership. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
    The new owner says he plans to keep its management and 1,100 employees.
  5. Former Pasco County Corrections Officer Wendy Miller, 57 runs towards gunfire with instructor Chris Squitieri during active shooter drills taught by Pasco County Sheriff's Office at Charles S. Rushe Middle School in Land O' Lakes. These drills are put are a larger training program for the Guardian program that will staff elementary schools with trained armed guards.  LUIS SANTANA   |   Times "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The change is a reversal of a previous move by the department, which specifically excluded armed teachers from its policy.
  6. A vistor at Harvest Moon Fun Farm's grabs a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch in Masaryktown. ANGELIQUE HERRING  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Things to do for Halloween in Pasco and Hernando counties
  7. Dr. Harvey Partridge and his wife Pat were killed when their plane crashed on approach to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Harvey Partridge founded St. Petersburg's Partridge Animal Hospital in 1978. This photo was posted in 2017 to the hospital's Facebook page. St. Petersburg's Partridge Animal Hospital Facebook page
    Harvey and Pat Partridge’s plane disappeared from the airport radar. The wreckage was found the next day.
  8. The University of South Florida has earned national accolades for its push to raise graduation rates. Student loan debt in Florida is so crushing that it makes it hard to afford a house.
    Staggering debt loads make it hard to buy a home.
  9. A meteor is seen streaking left to right above the constellation Orion in the early hours of Dec. 14, 2012 in the sky above Tyler, Texas.  The metor is part of the Geminid meteor shower, which is peaking tonight.  As many as 50 per hour are being seen.  The meteors radiate from the region of sky containing the constellation Gemini which give them their name.  (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman) DR. SCOTT M. LIEBERMAN  |  AP
    Considered one of “most beautiful meteor showers of the year” by NASA, the Orionids are expected to peak Monday night into Tuesday morning.
  10. Bayonet Point Middle School teacher Cynthia Thompson wants to become Pasco County schools superintendent. Courtesy of Cynthia Thompson
    Cynthia Thompson is a graduation enhancement instructor at Bayonet Point Middle School.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement