Lerman Law Firm Announces Expanded Investigation of Potential Misconduct, Fraud and Corruption During August and November 2018 Broward County Elections

November 13, 2018 09:00 ET | Source: Lerman Law Firm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Lerman Law Firm (Cathy Jackson Lerman, P.A.) today announced that it has expanded its public corruption investigation of the office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections (“SOE”), the Broward County Canvassing Board, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and certain private individuals who may be assisting these agencies in potential fraud, misconduct, corruption, bribes, and ballot fraud arising from both the Broward County Elections held in August and November of 2018.

“There is not enough room in a press release to delineate all of the types of fraudulent, criminal, incompetent and illegal conduct that has been witnessed and reported concerning both the August and November elections in Broward County. Please visit our blog for more details on the types of irregularities and discrepancies, as well as old-fashioned corruption, that have been reported this year in these two elections in Broward County” said Cathy Lerman, principal of the Lerman Law Firm. “This is, of course, not to mention the illegal destruction of ballots by SOE that occurred in 2016 and the reported use of ‘ballot mules’ in 2011 and 2012 to skew the results of those elections.”

“We are expanding and extending our investigation to other Broward county public agencies and officials based upon information obtained from whistleblowers about the conduct of these agencies and certain individuals. Rest assured, our law firm is committed to bringing the truth to light and to exposing the atrocious conduct of various corrupt public officials. This is not a political issue. We are not acting as Republicans, Democrats or Independents. We are simply Americans committed to electoral integrity, transparency and ensuring the constitutional right of citizens to cast their votes with the utmost confidence that they will be correctly reported and counted.”

“The excuses by officials who hide behind claims of incompetence or mistakes will no longer work. Threats by lawyers for these officials to stop whistleblowers from coming forward to expose this election fraud will not work anymore. There is a well-planned, orchestrated, and executed systemic scheme to control the election process and the outcomes of all elections in Broward County by certain corrupt politicians, public officials and private individuals. It has been going on for more than a decade, and I and many other Broward voters, have had enough. It is now time to start putting people in jail, firing everyone who is assisting or is complacent in these schemes and giving back control of the election process in Broward County to the voters.”

“We applaud Attorney General Pam Bondi for calling for a criminal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the Broward elections. Attorney General Bondi has indicated that she believes it is warranted by the conduct of SOE. We encourage Attorney General Bondi to direct that this investigation include all employees of SOE, the Canvassing Board, as well as their contractors, attorneys and vendors. We believe that this is a long-standing organized scheme to defraud the voters of Broward County, carried out by a well-organized team of corrupt individuals in both the public and private sector. We also urge Attorney General Bondi to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Broward County Sheriff’s Office’s (“BSO”) procurement of absentee ballots from inmates in the BSO jails.” 

“We want to thank all of the whistleblowers who have come forward to assist us in this investigation and to encourage whistleblowers who know the truth about how these schemes are being executed to come forward and provide the information necessary to indict and convict everyone involved in this perpetual election fraud, which is rampant in Broward County.”

If you wish to provide information to assist us in our investigation or are a potential whistleblower, please contact Cathy Lerman via email at clerman@lermanfirm.com or by telephone at (954) 332-1143. Please visit our blog for more detailed information on what we have learned to date in our investigation.


In September of this year, our law firm announced a public corruption investigation of the events surrounding the election held in August of 2018 in Broward County. Since that time, we have received information about the activities of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office (“SOE”) and other agencies and individuals. Because of the discrepancies and irregularities that have occurred with the November election, we have expanded our investigation to include that election as well.


The issue of election fraud and corruption in Broward County is not new. In 2011 and 2012, it was alleged that politicians were using ballot “mules” to skew voting results. It was the Broward County Mayor who sounded the alarm about these mules in 2012. However, nothing was done.

Then in 2016, Tim Canova, a candidate for the congressional seat held by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, lost and demanded access to certain original voting ballots. After intense litigation, Canova learned that the ballots he was seeking had been illegally destroyed by SOE months earlier. A judge ruled in his favor on that issue and essentially found that Brenda Snipes, head of SOE, had illegally signed off on the destruction of the ballots, which is a felony. Nothing has ever been done to Snipes for this violation of law. WHO IS PROTECTING BRENDA SNIPES AND HER CO-CONSPIRATORS?

Now it is 2018. Two elections in a matter of months have produced a host of problems with the integrity of the electoral process in Broward. It has also raised other issues about public officials trying to influence the voter base and results.

We feel it is important that Broward voters know some of the things we have been told by whistleblowers. To say it is disturbing is an understatement. But we want Broward voters to become activists for change and to stop the corruption of public officials and push for accountability. So we are sharing some of the information provided to us by whistleblowers as examples of how bad things really are in Broward and how some politicians and law enforcement agencies seems to be turning their head the other way to this corruption which has gone on for years.


  1. The West Broward Democratic Club held an event in Sunrise in August of 2018. They passed out a list of “Featured Honored Guests.” Included among those guests were Laurie Rich Levinson and Donna Korn who were running for the School Board which is supposed to be a non-partisan race. Levinson and Korn were listed at the end of a long list of Democratic politicians who were running for partisan positions in the same election.

  2. In both August and November, after the polls closed, thousands of ballots were “discovered” by SOE. No reasonable explanation has ever been given for what appears to be a “habit” of SOE of finding more ballots after voting has closed. Most of the supervisors at SOE have been there more than a decade. They can’t possibly be that incompetent so one must conclude this is a deliberate attempt to influence the results of various races after the fact.

  3. Voters show up at the polls to vote and are told that they have already voted when they haven’t.

  4. Voters moved out of state months ago. They registered in their new state. They voted in their new state. They happened to check the SOE website and found that they are shown as having voted in Broward in the last two elections, which they did not.

  5. Mail in ballots are supposedly returned to the SOE and marked “undeliverable” however, the voter received their mail-in ballot, voted and mailed it back.

  6. For the November election, part time workers were hired to open mail in ballots. They were paid $10 an hour. They first were going to open the ballots at the printer’s office who prints the ballots for SOE. Then the first day of the process, the location for opening the ballots was moved to the SOE office in Lauderhill. Supposedly workers were selected by word of mouth referral. No idea if a background check was run or any other vetting process occurred for these workers.

  7. Voters completed mail in ballots and mailed them in. They do not show up on the SOE website as having voted.

  8. Voters made mistakes on ballots and were told by SOE reps at the polls to cross it out and make the change and the ballot would still count. Voters have checked and the SOE website either shows no ballot was cast or that it was “provisional.”

  9. BSO had civil rights lawyers come in this week to talk to prisoners who did not receive absentee ballots so that the lawyers could file civil rights complaints. Absentee ballots for some inmates showed up this week at the jail after voting was closed. No explanation as to why. No idea if the prisoners had requested them. No idea if some of the prisoners who received the late absentee ballots were already convicted felons.

  10. Over 20,000 voters had problems with their mail in ballots for the November election.

  11. Voter voted early via mail. Voter received notice that vote was not counted due to signature mismatch. Voter went to their voting station and was told to disregard the notice because SOE had changed their mind.

  12. Voter goes on SOE website and sees that it says they voted-but they didn’t.

  13. Several precincts had workers handing out “cheat sheets” of who to vote for on election day.

  14. Voters say that their ballot did not contain the name of some candidates or some races at all.

  15. Voters who are registered Republicans are given Democratic ballots and told they will have to contact SOE after the election to change it.

  16. Some polls were inaccessible by voters on election day.

  17. Some polls were closed during voting hours when voters went to vote on election day.

  18. SOE claims some ballots were kicked out by machines so they duplicated the ballots themselves and ran them through the machine again. What happened to the first ballots? Were they kept? Did anyone audit these “duplicate” ballots?

  19. Voting is closed yet SOE Snipes does not know how many ballots are left to count and does not disclose why ballots are still left to count.

  20. Is it unknown whether felons or dead people voted in August or November but we are looking into that. That has happened in other elections.

    Yet after all of this FDLE says there is no “credible allegations of fraud” in the voting process. Well then what is all this evidence of? Broward County voters have lost control of their own election process. This must stop.


    Our law firm will continue to investigate the irregularities and discrepancies surrounding the voting process in Broward County. We encourage witnesses and whistleblowers with information on these activities to contact Cathy Lerman via email at clerman@lermanfirm.com or via phone at 954-332-1143.

Navigating the Complex Regulatory Environment of Medical Marijuana in Florida

As states continue to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana, businesses, patients, and law makers are left to determine the ins and outs of state based legalization. Congress has begun to show interest in tackling this issue at the federal level with legislation such as the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018, and the Senate Farm Bill. However, nothing has been signed into law, so we are relying on memos and DEA Internal Directives to guide stakeholders on regulatory activities.

The State of Florida has legalized medicinal cannabis for patients that suffer from a variety of conditions and illnesses. However, not all patients who qualify for a medical marijuana card are obtaining them, some are looking at CBD and hemp products to help treat their ailments. The regulatory environment for marijuana and hemp based products is complicated, so having someone to help you wade through state and federal law is important.

Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, but enforcement of the regulations guiding Florida marijuana companies will likely come from state agencies. In December 2017, the state of Colorado shut down 26 legal pot businesses for violating the selling limits for customers. At the beginning of 2018, California warned almost 500 businesses that their marijuana operations were illegal.

Physicians who can issue patients a prescription for medical marijuana must successfully complete a 2-hour course and subsequent examination offered by the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. An important provision in Florida’s medical marijuana law states that a qualified physician may not be employed by, or have any direct or indirect economic interest in, a medical marijuana treatment center or marijuana testing laboratory (FL Statute 381.986 (3)(b)). Statute 381.986 (3)(b) has the potential to create a regulatory nightmare for physicians and physician groups who are in violation of the law.

In addition to physicians having rigorous regulatory guidelines, Marijuana Treatment Centers have extremely specific policies to abide by. Failure to regularly audit and monitor compliance with state regulations will leave your business open to enforcement actions. The regulations permit a statewide maximum of 25 dispensing facilities, with an increase of 5 more facilities per 100,000 registered patients.  There are also regional requirements that Marijuana Treatment Centers must adhere to. Groups may sell their dispensary slots and there are reporting guidelines that companies must follow. It is critical to have legal counsel review all contracts before engaging in the sale of a dispensary slot, and the proper compliance systems in place to accurately report the transaction.

The cultivation of medicinal cannabis to the sale of products to patients requires the use of a seed to sale tracking system that will eventually will be established and maintained by the state. Florida law also details strict rules involving the cultivation of medical marijuana and contracting with third parties for various business needs, such as lease agreements, hiring employees, transfer of ownership, security equipment, etc.

The most important action businesses in the medical marijuana industry can take is creating a solid compliance plan that will regulate all aspects of the business. Our firm is able to provide cost-effective plans to help facilitate the proper systems to abide by Florida law and ensure that employees are following the guidelines.

If you need assistance with Florida regulatory issues related to medical marijuana, contact Candace Lerman, Esq. , Of Counsel to the Lerman Law Firm, for assistance via email: Candace@lermanfirm.com or Cathy Lerman via email at clerman@lermanfirm.com..



Investor Alert: Lerman Law Firm Announces Investigation of Hawk Systems, Inc. and Subsidiary and Affiliate Companies  

Companies Being Investigated Include Hawk Systems, Inc., Hawk Biometric Technologies, Inc., Hawk Biometrics of Canada, Inc., Fist Enterprises, LLC, Auto Secure, Inc., Auto Secure USA, Inc., and Secure Start USA, LLC

February 14, 2018 11:58 ET | Source: Lerman Law Firm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On the heels of a detailed exposé in the New York Daily News by reporter Larry McShane entitled “Wall Street trader, NFL players hit hard by ‘untouchable’ $4M mob-linked scheme” about the fraudulent schemes of penny stock company HAWK SYSTEMS, INC (“HAWK”), trading under the symbol HWSY, the Lerman Law Firm (Cathy Jackson Lerman, P.A.), has initiated an investigation into the activities of HAWK and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies. All companies are headquartered in Palm Beach County, Florida and include: Hawk Biometric Technologies, Inc., Hawk Biometrics of Canada, Inc., FIST Enterprises, LLC, Auto Secure, Inc., Auto Secure USA, Inc. and Secure Start USA, LLC.

The Lerman Law Firm is investigating information published in the New York Daily News’ article surrounding a biometric fingerprint identification device patent that HAWK purportedly owned, which was allegedly nothing but a scam to entice unwitting investors, including the elderly, into investing their hard-earned money and even life savings in HAWK. McShane’s article states that “there was no production, no product, no patent” and that HAWK had losses of $22 million and while only reporting an alleged $5570 in sales. Investor proceeds were said to have gone to pay for the lavish lifestyles of top HAWK executives and not into HAWK to actually produce a saleable product.

This article has raised vital questions as to why HAWK is still trading and how the alleged scam is continuing through the Hawk-affiliated companies. The Lerman Law Firm is investigating whether other investors have fallen victim to the same “patent” scam through these companies.

“One of the elderly HAWK victims stated that the principals behind HAWK, who perpetrated the initial scam, are ‘untouchable.’ That is a sad, but not surprising, statement about law enforcement and regulatory agencies in Florida,” stated Cathy Lerman, principal of the Lerman Law Firm. “We intend to get to the truth about the operation of these companies and help any other victims/investors obtain justice. No one is or should be above the law.”

If you are an investor in one or more of the named companies, wish to provide information to assist the Lerman Law Firm in its investigation, or are a potential whistleblower, please contact Cathy Lerman at clerman@lermanfirm.com  or (954) 332-1143.



March 20, 2017 10:00 ET | Source: Lerman Law Firm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the wake of a detailed news report by Jeff Ostrowski of The Palm Beach Post titled “NFL Players Stung By Losses in West Palm Beach Company,” concerning penny stock company Hawk Systems, Inc. (“Hawk Systems”), trading under the symbol HWSY, the Lerman Law Firm (Cathy Jackson Lerman, P.A.), has initiated an investigation into the activities of Hawk Systems and its subsidiary, Hawk Biometric Technologies, Inc. (“Hawk Biometric”). 

The Lerman Law Firm is investigating claims that NFL players who became investors in Hawk were used to “bait” the elderly to invest in the company. In addition, the Lerman Law Firm has learned that some investors may have unknowingly purchased shares of stock in Hawk Systems or Hawk Biometric, which were never authorized, and were illegally issued and sold.

According to a press release issued by Mark Spanakos, who is the named Plaintiff in a shareholder derivative suit filed against Hawk Systems and others in Palm Beach County, millions of shares of Hawk stock are still trading.  Yet Hawk never made a profit and incurred millions of dollars in net losses.   

“What is probably most shocking is that no one in the state of Florida, including the Attorney General Pam Bondi, law enforcement, the SEC, the IRS or the FBI has to date done anything to help these investors/victims.  We need to find out what happened to the millions of dollars of investor money, and determine if Hawk Systems or Hawk Biometric stock was illegally sold, or if elderly investors were illegally targeted,” stated Cathy Lerman, principal of the Lerman Law Firm.

If you currently own stock in Hawk Systems or Hawk Biometric and wish to obtain additional information about the investigation or wish to provide information to assist in the Lerman firm’s investigation, please contact Cathy Lerman via email at clerman@lermanfirm.com or by telephone at (954) 332-1143.


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Lerman Law Firm Issues Nationwide Alert on Fraud and Financial Exploitation of Florida Residents, Especially the Elderly

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Lerman Law Firm Issues Nationwide Elder Financial Exploitation Alert of Ponzi Schemes Touting NFL Players as Current Investors

March 03, 2016 10:00






We want to share with you the video of the late Ricky Tsang who passed away recently after suffering with Ducenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) for over 30 years.  This is a You Tube video that Ricky did to Janet Woodcock, FDA director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, concerning accelerated approval for Eteplirsen, a new drug that treats DMD, after the FDA Advisory Committee voted not to accelerate approval. 

While this video is heartbreaking, it is also an education about rare diseases and how rare disease patients suffer.  Ricky discusses the devastation caused by DMD which causes its victims to progressively lose their muscular abilities and results in life-threatening heart and respiratory conditions. Most DMD patients die in their 20's or 30's.   Here is a link to Ricky's video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUjJEHmkEUg

Etepliren is made by Sarepta Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Lerman Law Firm is proud to join with thousands of rare disease patients and advocates in aggressively promoting both the use of orphan drugs and the plight of rare disease patients who need those drugs NOW.  By working with Congress, the NIH, the FDA, and the pharma and biotech industry, we can accelerate the time to market of life-saving and life-changing drugs such as Eteplirsen. 

Candace Lerman, who is the Lerman Law Firm's Director of Advocacy for rare disease patients and our liaison with the biotech and pharma industry, is also a rare disease patient who used an Orphan drug to put her disease into remission.  While Candace still has multiple other health issues, her experience has convinced us that all patients deserve that opportunity.  For more information about Candace Lerman and our legislative advocacy on behalf of rare disease patients and the promotion of Orphan drugs see her blog at RareCandace.com.

We thank Director Woodcock for her accelerated approval of Eteplirsen and we look forward to similar approvals for other Orphan drugs in the pipeline.