Volume 1 Number 20
May 17, 2004











TEXT-ONLY VERSION

 

 

OFFICE OF FISCAL INTEGRITY

 



WEST PALM BEACH MAN ARRESTED FOR STEALING ONE HALF-MILLION DOLLARS IN STATE FUNDS

Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced the arrest of a West Palm Beach resident for stealing more than a half-million dollars in state funds for personal use.

Thomas Edward Kinsey, age 61, was arrested today by investigators with the state Department of Financial Services, and charged with felony grand theft in the first degree. If convicted, Kinsey faces up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Kinsey was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.

“Stealing taxpayer dollars for personal gain is unconscionable and warrants swift and severe action by state prosecutors,” said Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services.

The investigation, conducted by the department’s Office of Fiscal Integrity, revealed that Kinsey, President and Chairman of the Board for Florida Development Enterprises Corporation (FDEC), was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA). The grant required Kinsey to combine state funds with private funds to build an assisted-living facility for elderly, low-income residents in West Palm Beach. Phase I of the grant, in the amount of $1.3 million, was to be used for various preconstruction activities. Phase II of the grant, in the amount of $600,000, was to be used for construction-related activities.

Investigators found that Kinsey obtained Phase II funds by misrepresenting to the DOEA his intended use of the funds. On the day Kinsey received $600,000, he deposited it into his FDEC bank account and immediately transferred $500,000 to a personal bank account in his and his spouse’s name. Kinsey continued to make transfers between the accounts and wrote numerous checks to himself and to other entities or persons for his private business and personal expenses until the funds were exhausted. None of the funds were spent in the manner he represented to the DOEA, and no facility was ever built.

“This atrocious conduct was especially unfair to our elderly, low-income citizens who were the intended beneficiaries of the assisted living facility,” said Gallagher.

Attorney General Crist’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and Fifteenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Barry Krischer will prosecute the case.

Floridians should report fraud or abuse involving state funds to the Department of Financial Services by calling 1-800-GET-LEAN (1-800-438-5326.)