By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts acting supervisor is under arrest for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 in court fees over a two-year period.

According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Tyrone Derise Smith, 35, was employed in the New Suits Section of the Family Court Division for nearly 11 years before he resigned in June of 2018.

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An internal investigation was launched after the discovery of missing funds intended for deposit at a local bank.

“When government employees steal, they not only grab the public’s money, but they squander the public’s trust in their local government,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Such actions betray our community and can never be accepted or tolerated.”

Smith is charged with one felony count of Grand Theft over $100,000 and one count felony count of Organized Scheme to Defraud over $50,000.

The internal investigation was launched, according to prosecutors when a customer complained about the lack of movement of his civil case through the court system.

The review showed the customer’s case, originally processed by Smith, showed a lack of payment of the required filing fee. The customer insisted he paid the filing fee in cash and had a receipt as proof.

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However, the official-looking receipt was an obvious fake since it was not printed on thermal paper as are the official COC receipts, according to prosecutors.

“The missing deposit funds, coupled with this new filing fee discrepancy, prompted COC administrative staff to conduct an internal audit of all of Smith’s transactions between August 2016 through April 2018 and to ask the Miami-Dade County Inspector General for investigative assistance,” stated a news release from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’ Office.

The audit and investigation revealed 201 cases processed by Smith appeared in the database but failed to show collected filing fees, said prosecutors, who added the filing fees for these 201 cases, paid in cash, totaled $80,817.

Some of these customers provided similar COC receipts, which were also fraudulent.

Prosecutors said they found a saved form in Smith’s work computer which could produce the same fraudulent receipt as was provided by the COC customers.

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The total financial loss to the State of Florida and the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts was $108,938.16, said the release. Team