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Miami Lawyer Caught Forging Judges Signatures
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Jose Camacho

Summary: A Miami lawyer had forged the signatures of seven judges over a hundred times on structured settlement cases.

A Miami lawyer thought he could get away with forging the signatures of seven judges but two judges found their forged signatures, leading to an investigation. Judges Marina Garcia-Wood and Carlos Rodriguez discovered their signatures on documents filed with the clerk of courts. Jose Manuel Camacho was arrested in October and is facing multiple forgery charges.


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The signatures of seven Broward County and Circuit judges were on documents submitted on civil cases dealing with structured settlements. Broward Sheriff’s Detective John Calabro conducted interviews with all the judges, finding a total of 114 forged signatures. The other judges were John Luzzo, John Bowman, Mily Rodriguez Powell, Eileen O’Connor, and Thomas Lynch.

Structured settlement cases involve someone expecting a large payout in installments to negotiate a deal with a buyer that will pay a lump sum immediately in exchange for the future payments. Judges are required to sign off on these transactions, rejecting them if the deal is not fair for the original recipient of the payments.

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Broward Circuit Judge Mathew Destry was assigned the case but asked to be dismissed since fellow judges were the victims. The case will be transferred to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzner with Assistant Broward State Attorney Ryan Kelley prosecuting.

The case has caused a change in how judicial orders are filed. Deputy clerks must now go to a judge’s office to pick up orders instead of lawyers being able to act as trusted officers of the court that deliver their own signed orders to the clerk’s office.

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He has been charged with a total of 14 counts of forgery, each one carrying a maximum sentence of five years. He was free on $14,000 bond.

Camacho was admitted to the Florida bar in April 2000 after receiving his J.D. from the University of Miami Law School. He was working for the Camacho Law Group based in Miami.




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