Federal prosecutors are intensifying their criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia’s former campaign manager and chief of staff who’s suspected of helping fund a phony tea-party candidate to siphon votes from a Republican rival in 2010.
Prosecutors and a grand jury have issued at least four subpoenas in the case — two this year — and at least one witness has testified that Jeffrey Garcia was behind the alleged scheme to secretly prop up the shadow candidate, a former friend and business partner named Roly Arrojo.
Jeffrey Garcia, who is no relation to the Miami Democratic congressman, has long denied wrongdoing but declined to comment Wednesday through his attorney. Arrojo, too, had denied wrongdoing and couldn’t be reached for comment.
“Congressman Garcia has done nothing wrong. We’ve never been told that he’s the target of any investigation,” David O. Markus, Garcia’s campaign attorney said in a written statement. “This is old news.”
Not to prosecutors, who this week sat down with the congressman’s former spokesman, Giancarlo Sopo, the Herald has learned.