Successfully Stole a Charity
Carol Verdigi, along with other Influential employees of the Palm Beach County Sheriff Office, utilized Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office resources and assets to take over the Safe Harbor Animal Shelter from a private citizen.
This act was committed by several members of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, to include Bradshaw’s second in command, Chief Deputy Michael Gauger. Michael Gauger is implicitly linked to this when he had a meeting with Ms. Roca, the former owner of Safe Harbor Animal Shelter and Ms. Carol Verdigi or the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
At this meeting, Gauger never told Roca that he was linked to another animal charity, perhaps in an attempt to see how he could weasel his way in through the shadows. One thing is clear – it is almost impossible that the Sheriff, Ric Bradshaw, had no knowledge of the theft of a non-profit organization by his closest employees because of the massive amounts of resources being stolen from PBSO, thus the taxpayer, by these same employees.
In the emails (you can view many of them here), Carol Verdigi was spending massive amounts of time coordinating contracts and doing personal deals; while on PBSO time and all with PBSO equipment. Furthermore, Ms. Verdigi was using other PBSO employees and resources, such as Berty Jane Pennington of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Printing and Graphics unit, to create mailers, brochures and, in the first email of the batch, laminated posters for the Safe Harbor Animal Hospital.
Requests were made for all of the emails sent to and Carol Verdigi using her PBSO computer and email, however, these requests were all denied. Carol Verdigi had been running this charity from her office at PBSO, using PBSO resources and PBSO equipment. The tax payers have spent huge big bucks to stick money into the pockets of Verdigi and her friends.
Despite the fact that Carol has been hiring people, terminating people from the board, engaging in contractual agreements – all from PBSO and signing her name as a Section Manager of PBSO (using her position), the official position of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was that these emails are not subject to public record because they are personal (I included the responses in my ethics complaint, which you can find HERE).
The big question is, Was Chief Deputy Gauger involved at all? How about Sheriff Bradshaw? Take a look at the text messages sent by Carol Verdigi and Patty Palmer. ~~Note: Because these text messages were spread out over a long span of time, the text messages were condensed the pertinent ones into these photos.
Defrauded Dead Deputy out of $67K, Possibly Engaged in Embezzlement
Carol Verdigi, the Events Coordinator at the Palm Beach County sheriff’s Office, is no stranger to allegations of theft, backstabbing and unethical business practices. Her county-issued purchasing cards always had questionable spending, she is currently under investigation by the State Ethics Commission for her role in using her authority at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s, along with PBSO resources, to steal and run the non-profit charity, Safe Harbor, from Kay-Lynette Roca.
It surfaced Carol Verdigi defrauded a deputy out of $68,000. In addition, there are allegations of money laundering and embezzlement from Safe Harbor. We have also posted her PBSO Purchasing Card Records (CLICK HERE to be shocked!)Verdigi who worked full time for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and was the president of Safe Harbor, was terminated from Safe Harbor after she failed to renew the Worker’s Compensation insurance right before a near- fatal dog bite almost claimed the life of one of the employees.
In this particular fraud lawsuit, The deputy in question, Lon Intoppa was approached by Verdigi back in 1998, stating she had money problems and needed money to stay afloat until she could sell her property in Georgia. Being the very good friend, Deputy Intoppa took out a line of credit on his home and allowed Verdigi to be a signer on the account.
This was done on the condition Ms. Verdigi would lay the interest on the loan and repay the loan when her property sold.Over the years, Verdigi withdrew over $68,000 and failed to make even a single interest payment. When she sold her property in Georgia, the Intoppas never saw a dime of the money; she left her good friends with an enormous debt.In 2010, after realizing they had been defrauded, the Intoppas filed a lawsuit (Click to view) in 2010 against Verdigi for fraud and her unjust enrichment.
The lawsuit specifically specifies “Fraud and Misrepresentation” by Verdigi and that after the property sold, she was asked to be re-payed by Intoppa and she flat out “refused.”During the course of the law suit, Lon Intoppa died. Instead of being heartbroken her friend to whom she was apparently close enough to borrow $67,000 from had passed away, Carol was overjoyed, thinking the law suit would go away. She even sent an email to her attorney asking if his death was a good thing.
When Verdigi was first being sued, she was represented by the firm COHEN NORRIS WOLMER RAY TELEPMAN and COHEN. Later, however, Verdigi saw a way so she didn’t have to pay the law firm and fired them, leaving them with a massive bill she refused to pay and forcing the law firm also to sue her (Click HERE for the case).The timing of this termination of her previous firm is particularly interesting. Carol Verdigi had just become president of the non-profit charity Safe Harbor Animal Rescue. A source tells me it was at this time, she hired Scott Kerner of the firm Ryan S. Copple, P.A.. – and put him on a massive $3000 per month retainer for doing what amounted to basically nothing.
The source stated it is a case of embezzlement; stealing from Safe Harbor to pay for the legal representation for Carol Verdigi’s personal misdeeds.The source told me this while Attorney Scott Kerner did do a small amount of work for Safe Harbor, it was nowhere near enough to justify such an outrageous monthly payment and was actually an unethical exchange to pay Kerner and/or Ryan Copple, P.A. using Safe Harbor’s money. I contacted the law firm of Ryan S. Copple, P.A. to see if they could confirm if they had been paid to represent Carol Verdigi from Verdigi’s own bank account or through Safe Harbor, however, I was told they refused to discuss these allegation with me. On another note, I did find out Mr. Kerner was no longer employed by the Law Office of Ryan S. Copple, P.A., though no explanation was given as to the reason of his departure.
Mr. Kerner now works for Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser and Zoeller, PA and upon calling him he was busy. I left a message, however, as of this writing, the message has not been returned.In February 2013, The estate of the deceased Lon Intoppa settled the fraud lawsuit (Click to view) against Verdigi in what was called a “horrendous act against friendship and an unthinkable breach of integrity by a member of law enforcement.”To settle the suit for a paltry amount of $38,000, leaving the widon, Janice, with a massive debt of $30,000, in addition to interest and attorneys fees.
Still, Carol Verdigi was ordered to pay $10,000 within 24 hours and the rest would be garnished from her retirement. Judge Kelly, apparently so appalled by the actions of Ms. Verdigi, stipulated that is she missed a single payment, she would have to pay the entire $67,000 and any attorneys fees to collect the cash. This occurred a short time before she had Kay-Lynette Roca fired from the board and forcibly removed from her charity, Verdigi assuming Roca’s salary.
Carol Verdigi herself is a retired deputy sheriff from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and after her retirement, is now a special appointee by the Bradshaw/Gauger administration. Ms. Verdigi’s pattern of theft and fraud has been made abundantly evident, yet this administration still gives her free reign to pillage resources from the people of Palm Beach County to line her own pockets. It has to make you think about what else is taking place in the county by other members of the administration that rely on their guns and badges to engage in corruption. The shame of it is, there are so many wonderful deputies at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and they all get a bad rap from people like Carol Verdigi and her enablers.