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Gay activist 'Ron' Brenesky arrested on healthcare grand theft charge

Saul ''Ron'' Brenesky is accused of taking a $58,000 payment for a home healthcare agency that actually was not on the market.

log cabin

Saul “Ron” Brenesky, left, at a 2008 Log Cabin Republicans club meeting with U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Miami club president Robert Watson. Photo by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

brenesky Saul ''Ron'' Brenesky -- a well-known South Florida gay activist, businessman and political operative -- has been charged with grand theft for allegedly taking $58,000 in payment for a home healthcare agency he didn't own and that wasn't for sale.

The agency, New Vision Home Health Services Corp., is owned by Alexis Dagnesses, who went to prison after pleading guilty two months ago in his own fraud case -- scheming to bill Medicare for $10 million in false claims for HIV-infusion therapy.

Coral Gables detectives contacted Dagnesses at Miami's Federal Detention Center and asked him if he sold New Vision. 'He said, `No, I never want to sell it,' '' said police public information officer Sgt. Janette Frevola.

Brenesky, 52, who was arrested May 4 and posted $7,500 bond the same day, declined to talk about the case. ''I cannot discuss that. No comment,'' he said Tuesday. ``This will all be resolved.''

According to detectives, Brenesky approached Vicente Salazar and Felipe Salazar about purchasing New Vision. 'He said, `OK, do you want to buy this?' He sold them the idea and they fell into the trap,'' Frevola said.

Brenesky then prepared, signed and notarized all the sale documents, Frevola said.

An undercover Miami police officer, conducting his own investigation of Brenesky, watched him notarize the papers, Frevola said. The police report indicates Brenesky fully confessed upon his arrest.

Brenesky owns BreTo and Associates, a Gables company that does business in the medical field. The Salazars, who are uncle and nephew, came to Brenesky's office on Feb. 6 and gave him a check for $58,000, which he deposited into BreTo and Associates' Washington Mutual bank account.

Brenesky's attorney, Rick Corona, said the case is a ''business dispute'' not worthy of criminal charges.

Brenesky is a familiar face in Miami-Dade political circles. He has worked on many campaigns and has been an aide to several politicians, including Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruce Kaplan, who resigned from office in 1998 after pleading no contest to a criminal misdemeanor for filing false financial-disclosure forms.

In 2002, Brenesky co-founded the Unity Coalition/Coalicion Unida, a gay-oriented Hispanic lobbying group that supports adoptions by same-sex couples, laws to protect gay immigrants and increased funding for HIV/AIDS awareness programs. The nonprofit Miami-Dade group also publishes a bilingual online magazine called Ambiente.

In January 2003, Tentaciones, a national gay Hispanic magazine no longer published, named Brenesky one of the top 16 Latina/o activists in the United States.

The day after Brenesky's arrest, co-founder Herb Sosa announced that Brenesky was stepping down as chairman of the coalition.

''Upon discussion with several of you, I have decided that due to several personal & professional issues I must deal with and prioritize at this time, this decision is an appropriate one, and do not feel it is in the best interests of UC/CU of myself to continue to serve at this point,'' Brenesky said in the e-mail. ``I do hope to return to my duties at UC/CU in the near future, and request you grant me this opportunity. Until further notice, feel free to remove my name & title from current UC/CU materials. I hope to be back soon, more energized than ever!''

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Ron finnally they got you

What a crook ! check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pii3p3ZtbFc

I know this man well, he is me, Ronald Arroyo

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