Scandals? We've got more.
The collapse of David Mobley’s Ponzi scheme isn’t the only scandal to hit an area many outsiders perceive to be a sleepy, retirement playground.
Here are five more scandals that have made waves both locally and nationally.
As we wrote in our February issue, the 2009 collapse of Orion Bank due to poor management practices and illegal loans caused hundreds of millions in assets to be wiped off local ledgers. Four people went to jail, including bank CEO Jerry Williams. The bank was later bought by Iberia Bank.
Perhaps the biggest political scandal ever to hit Collier County. Originally conceived by the former head of ESPN as a top-fl ight golf course with stadium seating on the 18th hole, the planned development ended up being the downfall of 10 people, including three county commissioners and the former county manager. As the facts came forward, they led state offi cials to pass sweeping government ethics laws.
Everglades City drug busts
While the murderous rampages of the Miami cocaine rings get movies made after them, they didn’t put a former Florida Supreme Court Justice under suspicion and on the lam for three years until he turned up dead at a Jacksonville funeral home. But when the FBI, DEA and a host of other law enforcement groups raided the tiny fi shing village of Everglades City in July 1983 and, again, in 1984, they ended up with about 300 in custody—close to 80 percent of the town’s adult male population.
Cyrus Teed not resurrecting from the dead
It might not seem like a big deal that someone doesn’t come back from the dead, but news of Cyrus Teed’s remaining deceased in 1908 made The New York Times. As the leader of the utopian Koreshan cult, Teed had made a lot of wild claims, including that we are actually living inside the planet, not on the outside. But he’d also amassed one of the biggest tracts of land in the area not owned by a Collier, which slowly dissipated as the cult died off.
Samir Cabrera convicted, but released after Supreme Court ruling
A bartender turned real estate power player, Cabrera was found guilty by a jury in 2009 of honest services fraud in a trial that accused him of selling land he controlled from one group of investors to another and then pocketing the difference. But two years later, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed the rules for honest services fraud, Cabrera was set free, and he cannot be retried due to double jeopardy limitations.