An investigation undertaken by the Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s Public Corruption Task Force has resulted in the filing of criminal charges against North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo as a result of actions carried out at the time of the 2015 North Miami Beach municipal elections. Mayor George Vallejo will plead guilty to two counts of violating campaign finance laws, statutorily designated as 1st degree misdemeanor crimes, and resign from office.
The State Attorney’s investigation arose from financial activities undertaken by a political committee named “Floridians For Progress” (“FFP”), created in January of 2015 by George Vallejo’s aunt, Denise Corredeira, at Vallejo’s request. Prior to Vallejo’s 2015 unopposed re-election as Mayor of North Miami Beach, donations were made to FFP after being personally solicited by Mayor Vallejo.
In May of 2015, the treasurer of the FFP political committee wrote a check totaling $5,000 to an entity called JATC, Inc., as payment for “fundraiser consulting” as indicated personally by Vallejo. The investigation showed that this statement was false. JATC, Inc. is a Florida corporation formed in 2014 by George Vallejo and his wife, Sandra Shinego, with a long-time friend of Shinego’s listed as the sole incorporator and registered agent. Between mid-May and early June 2015, $5,000 moved from FFP to JATC, Inc. and then to Creations Unlimited LLC, a Wyoming corporation formed in 2013 and subsequently purchased by Vallejo and Shinego. Bank records show that the JATC, Inc. money received by Creations Unlimited LLC was largely spent on the personal expenses of Vallejo and Shinego.
In addition to resigning from his mayoral post, George Vallejo must serve 90 days of house arrest with a GPS monitor and complete 500 community service hours. Vallejo will also be sentenced to 18 months of reporting probation and may not early-terminate the probation prior to completing all 18 months. George Vallejo shall also be prohibited from seeking Federal, State and local elected office during the pendency of his 18-month probation. He must also write a letter of apology to the North Miami Beach community as a part of this plea.
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