SOURCE: NBC NEWS 6
After an intense five-year battle, the Wackenhut security company is agreeing to pay out $7.5 million to settle allegations that company executives overbilled Miami-Dade taxpayers for years. But despite the payout and admission of guilt, Wackenhut will be able to keep doing business with Miami-Dade County.
The payout follows a series of NBCMiami investigative reports exposing the overbilling in which Wackenhut, the global security firm founded in South Florida, charged the county for work never done. It’s a significant new development and perhaps final twist in a heated dispute over the long-running, lucrative security contracts for Metrorail and the Juvenile Assessment Center that, according to a variety of sources, nearly led to arrests.
Under the agreement, Wackenhut also got the county to agree to remove all references in the audit to whether Wackenhut was intentionally fraudulent, to get the county to say Wackenhut did not overbill the county on purpose, and to agree not to hold it against Wackenhut should anyone be “arrested in the future” in connection with this case, suggesting that Wackenhut believes it’s possible some of its executives could be charged criminally.
Wackenhut says they fired guards for cause. But security guards and managers told story after story of overbilling and what they felt was retaliation from Wackenhut attempting to hide themassive overbilling of taxpayers.