Medley City Councilor Arrested For Selling Food Donated To Ex-NFL Star’s Charity – NBC 6 South Florida
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has charged Medley’s advisor Ana Lilia Stefano with two felonies, accusing her of defrauding a nonprofit food bank over $ 24,000.
The announcement came Tuesday in a joint statement with the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Confidence that investigated, reprimanded and fined the city councilor.
Stefano attended Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Tuesday on charges of organized scheme to defraud over $ 50,000, first degree felony, and robbery over $ 20,000, second degree felony .
Prosecutors accuse Stefano of using his role as director of the Santana Moss Foundation, named after the former NFL star, to profit from the sale of food donated to local religious organizations and health clinics in and around the town of Medley.
âDefrauding a charity for its own benefit can never be accepted in this community,â Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.
Moss himself cooperated with investigators. They said he had no part in the scheme and “was surprised that the Foundation still exists as a legal entity.”
County ethics investigators began investigating the allegations after he had already berated Stefano twice for breaking ethics rules regarding voting disputes. Previously, she had used her post as city councilor to sponsor and vote on items that benefited the Santana Moss Foundation, of which she was the director.
In a statement, Stefano’s lawyer said that she had “served her city and its residents honorably and with selfless service. She has focused on improving the lives of everyone without personal gain. She will plead no. guilty because she is INNOCENT of these politically inspired people. She calls on the citizens of Medley to continue supporting her as she defeats these false accusations. “
âThe Ethics Commission will continue to aggressively prosecute those who violate the Code of Ethics in an effort to restore public confidence in Miami-Dade County,â wrote Nelson Bellido, Chairman of the Ethics and Ethics Commission. Miami-Dade public confidence.
The Feeding South Florida Food Bank works with nonprofits like the Santana Moss Foundation. Prosecutors accuse Stefano of stealing $ 24,000 worth of food and then reselling it. She is also accused of using donated items to influence voters in November 2020 when she ran for town hall and lost.
Medley is a small town in northwest Miami-Dade County known for its industry and warehouses.