« Florida to be host to final, and third, presidential debate | Main | Lobbyists & monkeys & pols. Oh my! Police union blasts prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle in mailers »

Forger's criminal past haunts Miami-Dade campaigns

A career criminal who embarrassed the campaigns of Miami-Dade’s mayor and state attorney may have conned one of their top political consultants over thousands of dollars in counterfeit postage stamps, according to authorities and court records.

Gerardo Judas “Jerry” Ramos, who ran a direct-mail business, pleaded guilty in 2009 to forging more than $2,000 in postage meter stamps on his laptop computer that he billed to consultant Al Lorenzo’s company for purported birthday greeting-card mailers, authorities said.

As part of the ruse, Ramos represented to Lorenzo and his company, Quantum Results, that the birthday mailers were being sent on behalf of local politicians to their constituents in 2006-07.

“He was making a few thousand dollars by ripping off his boss and ripping off the postal service, because the stamps were fake,” Postal Inspector Bladismir Rojo, the federal case agent, told The Miami Herald on Wednesday.

“The politicians had no idea [Ramos] was involved in this fraud,” he added.

Lorenzo’s failure to disclose Ramos’ lengthy criminal history to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez cost the consultant his job late Monday, one week before Tuesday’s election. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle kept Lorenzo on her campaign, but told him to kick Ramos out.

Ramos, 47, could not be reached for comment. He served two years in federal prison on the postage-forgery conviction until his release in February 2011 and had a state criminal record dating back to 1989, including grand theft and credit-card fraud. “Ramos’ criminal history discloses that he is a habitual thief, fraud, forger and counterfeiter,” federal prosecutor Dwayne Williams said in court papers before Ramos’ sentencing in 2009. More here.