17 February – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander …

17 February – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Brian Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that defendants, Jack M. Makler, 64, of Boynton Beach, Florida and Linda Marks, 57, of Delray Beach pled guilty to fraud and corruption charges in United States District Court in Miami, Florida.

During the plea hearing, Marks, a self-proclaimed psychic and fortune teller, agreed that she was responsible for bilking over two (2) million dollars from numerous elderly and otherwise vulnerable victims from 1994 through 2002. Makler, in turn, admitted that he used his official position to improperly keep Marks out of jail and from violating probation. Makler also admitted that he lied to state criminal courts in New Mexico and Key West, Florida, to help Marks and her husband, Jimmy Marks, avoid severe criminal penalties. In addition, Makler admitted to receiving money and other property from Marks and to an improper social relationship with the Marks’ during the time when he was officially assigned to investigate many of Marks’ alleged frauds. Finally, Makler admitted to lying to his department’s Internal Affairs investigators and to federal investigators on numerous separate occasions when he was questioned about his relationship with Marks and his handling of her cases.

At sentencing , Makler faces up to five (5) years’ imprisonment and Marks faces up to fifteen (15) years’ imprisonment. United States District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks set sentencing for Makler on May 10, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. and for Marks on May 10, 2006 at 8:30 a.m., both in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Mr. Acosta stated, “The vast majority of men and women in law enforcement are dedicated public servants that earn our trust and deserve our respect. With these convictions, federal law enforcement sends a strong message that we will not tolerate the conduct of those law enforcement officers who, through their illegal actions, bring disrespect to their colleagues, sell their position and betray the public trust. The illegal conduct in this case was particularly egregious because the defendant’s actions resulted in the continued victimization of elderly and vulnerable people, many of whom lost their life savings through fraud. Their trust in law enforcement was betrayed by these criminals, but by these convictions their faith in the criminal justice system may be restored.”

Mr. Acosta commended the long-term investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the extensive cooperation of the Delray Beach Police Department in this prosecution. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John S. Kastrenakes and Stephen Carlton of the West Palm Beach Branch Office.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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