A former Democratic state lawmaker is facing a federal indictment for allegedly using campaign funds to cover personal expenses.
It was announced earlier this month that former state Rep. Dwayne Taylor, 49, of Daytona Beach has been charged with nine counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to funnel money from his campaign to personal funds.
Taylor could face a maximum of 20 years in prison on each of the nine counts.
Prosecutors are also seeking $62,834, “representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the offense,” though the amounts withdrawn from the campaign in the nine counts listed in the indictment totaled $2,440.
According to the indictment, Taylor “would withdraw cash from the Dwayne L. Taylor Campaign Accounts at automated teller machines (ATMs) … and, within minutes or hours, deposit the same or a similar amount of cash into one of TAYLOR’s personal accounts.”
Taylor used at least one check for similar reasons, the indictment said.
Taylor is accused of using the funds for personal expenses and then filing fake or inflated campaign expense reports to cover his alleged misuse of the money.
Under Florida law, campaign money may not be used to defray normal living expenses, other than for transportation, meals, and lodging that is campaign-related.
Taylor served as his campaign’s treasurer in 2012 and 2014, when he was seeking re-election to the House, according to reports, which deals with funds from those two campaigns.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
There are many different aspects of wire fraud charges, so it is best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that a strong case can be built on your behalf. It is up to prosecutors to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed every element of the criminal act of wire fraud. If they cannot prove this, then they cannot achieve a conviction. This is why it is imperative for your defense lawyer to highlight any flaws or weaknesses in the case.
The elements of wire fraud generally consist of using mail or electronic communications in furtherance of defrauding, deceiving or cheating someone out of honest services.