County Clerk Scams Quickie Divorce

January 17, 2008

There are so many “get-divorced-quick” scams out there that it has become common place for people to shell out their money for bogus or at least dubious “divorce services”.  Now it appears that even the trusted clerks are in on the scamming. 

A Miami-Dade County employee was arrested Tuesday for running a quickie divorce scheme out of the clerk’s office, the county’s Office of the Inspector General said.

Olga L. Avila, 46, is accused of promising to provide unrepresented litigants with a fast divorce for $670 cash. In the course of the scheme, Avila, who worked as a courtroom clerk, allegedly falsified and fraudulently notarized documents, and used her access and friends at the Miami-Dade courts to expedite the divorce proceedings.

Of the $670, she used $364 to pay the required filing fee and kept the remainder.

According to OIG, judges ordered the final dissolution of marriages, unknowingly relying on falsely sworn pleadings. Some of the parties, believing they were divorced, entered into new marriages. So far, the OIG investigation has uncovered four couples who obtained divorces through Avila.

Avila has been terminated from her employment, and charged with a total of 52 felony counts.

OIG said the investigation is continuing and that additional arrests are expected.

The lesson to be learned: hire a licensed family law attorney to help you with your divorce.

Source: South Florida Business Journal Business Journal


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