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Former miami dea boss surrenders to federal authorities

Posted on September 14, 2009 3:00 AM EST

The former chief of the Miami Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") Office surrendered to federal agents and found himself in court for his involvement in the Allen Stanford financial scheme to defraud. Former Miami DEA chief, Tom Raffanello, has been indicted in federal court for charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and destruction of records. The charges stem from the Allen Stanford fraud investigation. Stanford is currently held without bail in a United States District Court in Houston, Texas.

It is ironic that Rafanello found himself handcuffed and appearing in federal court with other defendants charged with cocaine trafficking and marijuana trafficking. Rafanello posted a $100,000 bond and agreed to turn over his passport. On September 18, 2009, Rafanello will be arraigned with his co-defendant, Bruce Perraud in front of Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenbaum. Both Raffanello and Perraud are represented by Miami criminal lawyers.

After retiring from the DEA in 2004, Raffanello was hired to be a member of Allen Stanford's security force. The federal case centers around allegations that Raffanello and Perraud intentionally tried to derail federal law enforcement's probe into Stanford's 7 billion dollar "Ponzi" scheme. As soon as Stanford was indicted, a federal judge ordered that all of the company records must remain intact. E-mails between Raffanello and Perraud confirm that each understand the judge's order.

The indictment alleges that on February 25, 2009, a shredding truck arrived at the company's office located near the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Under Perraud's direction all of the paperwork contained in the office was taken away for destruction. According to Raffanello, he ordered Perraud to destroy the paper records because duplicates were stored in computer files.

The Miami criminal attorney representing Raffanello said that the destruction of the records was a mistake and that the documents were destroyed in due course as a matter of regularly scheduled housekeeping. Perraud's Miami criminal defense lawyer told reporters that the documents that were destroyed had nothing to do with the violations that the SEC was investigating. Federal prosecutors allege that the documents were intentionally destroyed to curtail the federal investigation into Stanford six days after his operation was shut down in February.

Indicted ex-DEA Boss Turns Himself In, The Miami Herald, September 12, 2009.
Categories: Fraud