A former local comptroller for the Village of Miami Shores has been sentenced to 30 months behind bars and a lifetime ban from government service for pocketing more than $200,000 in government revenue.
In 2008, a Miami Shores resident contacted officials when the check he sent to the Village a month prior had still not been cashed. After the acting finance director looked at recent deposits and noticed the amount was lower than expected, Miami Shores hired a CPA firm to conduct an audit.
After the numbers didn't match up, the State Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant for Carolyn Ann Modeste, 46, of North Miami, the comptroller solely responsible for reconciling Village accounts, making year-end reports, depositing daily funds, and recording transactions in the general journal.
Investigators found that between September 2007 and September 2008, Modeste falsified the journal over 200 times and pocketed $203,293.70 in Village funds.
In 2010, she was charged with grand theft first degree, organized scheme to defraud and 13 counts of official misconduct.
Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge Monica Gordo sentenced Modeste to 30 months in jail, one year of community control, 1000 hours of community service, and five years probation.
As part of the sentence, Modeste will give up any retirement funds acquired during her employment with Miami Shores. She's also required to pay investigative costs every month to Miami Shores, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Office of the State Attorney.
Modeste is also banned from ever working with any local, state, or federal government and must stay away from Miami Shores government buildings.
“As the Comptroller for the Village of Miami Shores, Carolyn Ann Modeste literally had the keys to the Village’s purse”, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a release.
"She squandered the trust of everyone in Miami Shores when she stole at least $200,000. … I know that the fight must start at the streets and go to the suites if we are to make an impact. Reaching into the Comptroller’s office suite is certainly making an impact.”