Already facing a Florida Medicaid fraud probe, state Rep. Daphne Campbell is being investigated by federal agents who are tracing hundreds of thousands of dollars through bank accounts tied to a web of family healthcare businesses, The Miami Herald has learned.
The Internal Revenue Service has slapped $145,000 worth of liens on the lawmaker and her husband, Hubert Campbell. IRS agents have received dozens of documents from former business associates who say the Campbells scammed them. And an investigator called Campbell’s legislative aide to question her about her boss.
The allegations, following years of legal troubles for Campbell and her family, have so concerned the Florida Democratic Party that it has called on her to “consider stepping down.” She faces two fellow Democrats in the Aug. 14 primary of the Miami Shores-area district.
Campbell, 55, said she knew nothing of the IRS case before she hung up her phone with a Herald reporter.
“I don’t have no tax liens,” she said when asked particulars of the IRS investigation and liens.
But federal records tell a different story. They show Campbell and her husband were hit with a $130,386 lien in March, followed by a second $14,790 lien in April.
Three people, including two former business associates of the Campbells, told The Herald that IRS agents are examining records dating back to at least 2007, when the couple started a consulting service to help people run home healthcare agencies.
The Campbells have had several run-ins with the justice system.
Hubert, 47, who filed for bankruptcy two years ago, was convicted in a mortgage fraud case in 2007, and received three years’ probation and a $2,000 fine. Their 29-year-old son, Gregory Campbell, faces state Medicaid fraud charges for an alleged $300,000 swindle. With a trial set for September, he has pleaded not guilty.
Last year, the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating home health care companies run by Campbell and her husband, according to sources close to the investigation.
Daphne Campbell also made a curious cameo in a ballot-fraud investigation connected to an assisted living facility in November 2010 when someone fraudulently cast mail-in ballots in the names of three seniors. Investigators couldn’t determine who committed the fraud, but they pointedly noted that Campbell had visited the North Miami Beach facility months earlier.
Campbell’s top legislative aid is a felon: Janice Shackelford pleaded guilty to a 2006 grand theft charge in Miami-Dade; a swindling charge was dropped.
Shackelford, called the Florida Democratic Party last week in a state of panic after she was contacted by agents, party officials confirmed.
“I’d rather not comment,” Shackelford told The Miami Herald.
Asked about the case, the party issued a statement expressing worry about Campbell.
“If true, the rumored allegations against Rep. Campbell are very concerning,” the statement said. “Any member of the Legislature accused of something this serious should consider stepping down.”
Daphne and Hubert Campbell once ran group homes for the mentally ill and the infirm. But they were shuttered after a patient was raped, three died and others lived in such squalor that the state shut off their state funding.