Are the security officers at your property properly trained and licensed? Florida is busting down on security training fraud.
5 Charged in Security Guard Licensing Scheme in Florida
JULY 27 2013
Five people, including a campus police officer, were arrested this week on fraud and forgery charges after being accused of selling licenses to aspiring armed-security officers instead of training them as required by Florida law.
About 350 customers bought the licenses over several years but never went through the training, said Erin Gillespie, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Most are cooperating with the investigation, which lasted a year.
Some of those who obtained the licenses could be working at ports, courthouses, airports, stadiums or jails – wherever armed security guards are hired, investigators said.
“Folks are hiring them believing they’re trained and they know what they’re doing and able to protect people, and they’re not,” Gillespie said. “Not only are they untrained, but they’re unethical.”
Florida law requires security guards who carry guns to have 28 hours of training, including eight hours of firearms instruction. They also must pass a mental-health evaluation.
Investigators said they think the people who paid about $200 apiece for the falsified certificates were aware that what they were doing was wrong.
Those who do not cooperate with the investigation will be prosecuted, Gillespie said. Those who do cooperate must relinquish their certificates.
The investigation began when a department employee in Orlando noticed that training certificates submitted with applications for licenses were altered using Wite-Out. The same person signed the fraudulent certificates, investigators said.
Arrested Friday were:
*Gertrude Brun, 54, of Orlando. She is a security-officer training instructor who owns Access Patrol Security and Brun Protective Security Training School in Orange County. She is charged with organized scheme to defraud, criminal use of personal identification information and uttering a forged instrument.
*Michael Brun, 25, or Orlando, Gertrude Brun’s son. He works for her. His charge is one count of uttering a forged instrument.
*Lucny Blaise, 34, of Kissimmee, an employee at Access Patrol Security. His charges: organized scheme to defraud and uttering a forged instrument.
*Luis Bonilla Jr., 42, of Miami, a licensed armed-security-officer instructor. His charges: organized scheme to defraud, forgery and uttering a forged instrument.
Arrested Thursday was:
*Nicholson Geffrard, 42, of Pembroke Pines, a police officer at Florida International University in Miami Dade County and an armed-security-officer instructor. He is a former police officer in Hialeah Gardens and Lake Worth.
The investigation is continuing, and more arrests are expected.