June 2nd, 2010
04:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Ex-GOP official faces 6 felony counts

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/02/greermug.jpg caption="Jim Greer was arrested Wednesday in Florida."]Washington (CNN) – Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer was arrested Wednesday and charged with six felony counts stemming from a grand jury investigation into his activities while serving as state party leader.

Greer, 47, faces one count of organized fraud, four counts of grand theft and one count of money laundering, Statewide Prosecutor Bill Shepherd announced at a late morning press conference. He faces up to 90 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

Greer is a political ally of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and contemplated running for chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009.

Prosecutors charge that Greer steered $199,254 in state party money to a company, Victory Strategies, LLC, that he set up with former state Republican Party Executive Director Delmar Johnson. According to prosecutors, "Greer was paid $125,161" of the fees Victory Strategies collected from the state party. Prosecutors also said that Victory was given "a large amount for services that were never performed" by the company.

"The indictment and the affidavit allege that Mr. Greer developed a scheme to take money from the Republican Party of Florida through a shell company that he created called Victory Strategies," Shepherd said at the news conference. "He created that company to actively hide his own involvement."

According to Florida law enforcement officials, Victory Strategies received 10 percent of all major donations to the RPOF, as well as over $60,000 from GOP state party coffers at Greer's direction. And $40,000 more came from a 527 account designed to help Greer win re-election as state party chairman.

Prosecutors allege that a substantial amount of those funds then flowed directly to Greer.

Greer was appointed Florida GOP chairman in 2007 by Crist. But in February of this year, Greer left his post after a chorus of state Republican leaders and donors raised questions about his leadership and management of party funds.

Crist said news of Greer's arrest was "obviously disappointing and surprising," when asked about it Wednesday during a press conference about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I have faith in our judicial system," Crist said. "I know they will handle it appropriately."

According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, search warrants were executed Tuesday at Greer's home in Oviedo and two unspecified banking institutions. He was arrested at his home Wednesday morning in Oviedo, Florida and is currently being held at the John Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford. His bond has been set at $105,000.

Specifically, Greer is charged with three third-degree felonies, each carrying a maximum sentence of five years, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum of 15 years, as well as two first-degree felony counts that under Florida law carry a maximum sentence of 30 years each.

Questions about Greer were first raised last fall after grassroots leaders revolted against his management of the party – a movement that ultimately resulted in his resignation as chairman.

And in March, an independent annual audit of state GOP expenses revealed that the party "may have been the victim of illegal criminal activity on the part of one of its vendors, controlled by a senior-level official," Jim Thrasher, current chairman of the party, said in a statement at that time.

That vendor was Victory, the firm set up in February 2009 by Greer and Johnson.

Within the Republican National Committee, Greer became a prominent voice urging the GOP to open its arms to moderate voters and minorities. After considering running for RNC chair, Greer threw his support to Michael Steele, a key endorsement at the time in the contested race to head the GOP.

- CNN's Peter Hamby, Mark Preston and Matt Smith contributed to this report

Filed under: Florida • Jim Greer • Popular Posts
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Once again, another tainted GOPeer! What is it about these people that just keep them in the spotlight for constant wrongdoing? Can't they ever say no to greed and getting money in all the wrong ways? I guess that's a big fat no!

    June 2, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Rudy

    Yes indeed, the GOP wants less government, smaller government and until then they'll use government to line their own pockets–literally. Vote these shysters out. O-u-t! Yes, we can!

    June 2, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. w l jones

    Look closly there more tax write off under the trash can..lol.

    June 2, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. independent

    This can't help Crist. It can't help the lobby-incestuous GOP. Maybe it will help the Dems in FL.

    All states need in independent ethics board. Let me repeat: Independent ethics board.

    June 2, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. BronxBomber

    So much for this dude's credibility when he blasted the President's 'back to school' video speech as fomenting socialism.

    Dude can't even keep himself off the police blotter as a thief...

    June 2, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Scammed in a Florida Court

    "I have faith in our judicial system," Crist said.
    Par for the course.
    I guess that's why Governor Christ never returned my email, after I complained about the corruption of Florida attorneys and courts.
    Anyone who has a case in Fort Lauderdale, let me advise you to pull your court records, esp. when it comes to Case Management Meetings. When my attorney refused to disclose to me what he discussed at each meeting (on my behalf), I decided to pull the records. I was charged 3 hours ($1,000+) on each conference invoice.
    The conference page was blank except for the date and next conference scheduled. A judge and two attorneys sit in conference and not one word on the document. Not a notation on what the conference was about or what was argued or discussed. BLANK BLANK BLANK. Three men with apparently nothing to talk about yet the judge thought they needed another conference, and another and another and another. Corrupt, Corrupt Corrupt. The Attorney refused to give me a copy of the settlement offer sent to the Plaintiff, even after written requests and certified letters. No wonder, when I asked the Plaintiff myself why he refused the offer, he stated "What offer?"

    June 2, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Pam

    The GOP sure is having some financial woes. It appears they sure do know how to party.
    It is very telling how this money was spent.

    June 2, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. John

    Its just a matter of time before they arrest rubio also,as he is also a crook.The congressman from sarasota also stole 15 million from merrill

    June 2, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Rosslaw

    This is a step forward for Republicans. At least he's not accused of being a child molester-so far.

    June 2, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. 2cents4free

    PoliTRICKS as usual!! Nothing new, happened before and will happen again (in a bipartisan manner no doubt).

    June 2, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Jacq

    Lol get the tea party to bail you out

    June 2, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. James M. Holmes

    A corrupt southern Republican? I'd like to say I'm shocked...

    June 2, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. joel palmer

    This is new only to those few people left who don't know that republipigs are hogs at the trough and when they're not stealing taxpayer money; they're stealing donor money.

    PIGS every last one.

    June 2, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. jeff jackson, alabama

    The guy looks enough like Phillip Fulmer,
    the former coach at Tennessee, that he should
    get 20 years just for that. Then add on another
    20 if he is found guilty.

    June 2, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    Organized fraud. Greer should take good notes, Obama is going to need them.

    June 2, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Duck Fallas

    Looks like he burned his lips on his crack pipe.

    June 2, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Minnesotan

    Is anyone surprised? And yes, Dems are guilty of this stuff too often times. Its just that it seems to be these GOP guys like 3 to 1 vs the Dems. Maybe even 4 to 1.

    Hey, how about we go after Halliburton and KBR now? Anyone else wondering why it is we can get this one guy who wasted 200K and not these big corporations that wasted BILLIONS?

    June 2, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. 52 Pick-up

    what's with the herpes lip?

    June 2, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. gudderballs

    Jim Greer....guilty of unlawfull display of a cold sore, in the first degree.

    June 2, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Livin' the good life

    WOW! They're coming out of the woodwork like termites aren't they!? How corrupt these people are. Do they actually think they can get away with crime all the time? Sooner or later they all get caught. Why is it that politicians think they are ABOVE the law? We need to ADVANCE our country, not "take it back". Back to WHERE? the mobster days!?... Beau Colby...

    June 2, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. LacrosseMom (the real one)

    Another GOP added to the list of Crooks, Cheats & Liars! Don't ya just love the GOP-holier-than-thou-family-values-folks? Wink!

    June 2, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Some republican guy

    What in tarnation???!!! Those narcisstic elitest obamabots are up to no good again!!!! They probably sent the libtarded illeagle aliens from ACORN to take him to the re-education camp and made him wear a Chay Guevarro t-shirt and a black buray hat with a red star on it!!! Their torturing him right now by making him drink they're elitest peeno nwar and listen to devil music like Anthrax or The Coven instead of a wholesome real American artist like Anne Murray or Rush!!!!! They have all the lyrics running on there teleprompters and his eyes are propped open like in that movie Clockwork Orange!!!!!! Then they take away his birth certificate so he's like one of them!!!! When he comes out of there, he'll be an Oprah watching union thug!!!!! Even his own grandbabies won't recognize him!!!! There going to turn him into an altruist like that Ain Rand lady warned us about!!!!! Wise up real Americans!!!! Empeach them all and succeed from the union before its to late!!!!! Have a nice day!

    June 2, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Bubba

    Let me be the first to say that I think this was personal greed and not really a reflection upon his party and political views. Let me say that quick, because that smug mugshot is going to make it way too easy for everyone to kick him like the pork-filled football he so closely resembles.

    June 2, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Chas in Iowa

    The general public would be oh, so , surprised how common this type of laundering is going on in the GOP.

    June 2, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Tami

    What's hilarious is that this is the same guy that was on all the networks saying that he didn't want Obama's education speech to be played in schools. I love it when a moron gets knocked off his moral high horse.

    June 2, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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