Orlando, FL – A federal jury found former Florida House of Representatives member and Daytona Beach city commissioner Dwayne Taylor guilty of nine counts of wire fraud on Thursday.
Acting US State Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow made the announcement on August 31, noting that Taylor faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count. Taylor, 49, who lives in Daytona Beach, will be sentenced on November 16.
According to a press release from the State Attorney’s office, evidence presented during the trial suggests that during his 2012 and 2014 reelection campaigns, Taylor falsely reported thousands of dollars in expenditures to the state to hide his misappropriation of more than $60,000 in campaign funds through unreported cash withdrawals, checks written to himself, and checks written to petty cash. Taylor then allegedly used that money for personal expenditures that weren’t related to his re-election campaigns.
Florida law clearly states that all campaign contributions and expenditures have to be reported to the state. The law also prohibits candidates and their spouses from using any money in a campaign account for normal living expenses for the candidate or their family. The exception is for expenses associated with transportation, food, and lodging while traveling for campaign related purposes.
“These types of crimes erode the public trust in our elected officials,” said Muldrow. “This conviction sends a clear message that such acts will not be tolerated and that we will hold anyone who breaks the law accountable for their actions.”
“It is disappointing that an elected official would exploit the generosity of his constituents to advance his personal lifestyle,” said Charles P. Spencer, the Special Agent in charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust, which is why combating public corruption remains the FBI’s top criminal priority.”
The FBI investigated Taylor’s case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Roger B. Handberg and Embry J. Kidd.
(Taylor’s headshot courtesy VoteSmart.org)
Featured photo courtesy PalmBeachPost.com.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.