Tampa Mayor’s Husband Surrenders in Bank Probe
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The husband of Mayor Sandy Freedman surrendered Friday to face charges resulting from an investigation into alleged organized crime links, fraud and money laundering at the Key Bank of Florida.
Michael J. Freedman, 46, who works as an attorney for the bank, was among 15 people arrested Friday in the probe, which authorities said was ″still in its infancy.″
Freedman declined to comment as he was booked on charges of making false banking entries and delivering false documents. Both are punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison.
Freedman was released without bond. His attorney, Gary Trombley, denied Freedman had done anything wrong.
″The charges revolve around a legal transaction which he performed for Key Bank,″ Trombley said. ″It has been our contention from day one that what he did was perfectly legal and ethical.″
The mayor was not available for comment Friday. She issued a brief statement Wednesday defending her husband against ″innuendoes″ and saying the probe had not touched her office. She has held the nonpartisan office since 1986.
Also arrested on charges of organized fraud was Santo J. Trafficante III, the nephew of the late Santo Trafficante Jr., a reputed Florida mob boss.
Hillsborough Sheriff Walter Heinrich said the joint federal-state investigation was ″still in its infancy and expected to continue far into the future.″
Last month, the bank president and his son, a vice president, were charged with perjury and falsifying bank documents, and hundreds of boxes of documents were seized at the bank’s main office.