Convicted felon returns to Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Board
By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
When the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council presented medals for bravery in May, honored officers and firefighters received their awards and a handshake from a convicted felon on federal parole.
Lewis Stahl, who was in federal custody just seven months earlier, was sentenced to federal prison on September 9, 2019 following his conviction for evading millions of dollars in personal income tax.
Stahl embezzled $21 million from his medical technology company, NextGen Management LLC, and spent it on “personal items such as clothing, jewelry, watches, property rentals, country club perks and a collection firearms,” prosecutors told the Stahl sentencing judge. For years, they said, he didn’t even bother to file a tax return.
Stahl was not the only member of the nonprofit Sheriff’s Advisory Board to be sent to federal prison that year. In fact, a former member is still behind bars.
Stahl helped deliver the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council (BSAC) medals because he is vice chairman of the board of the elite paying group whose members enjoy the benefit of wearing badges and cards BSO “advisory assistant” identity.
Members pay an initiation fee of $5,000 plus $750 annual dues to join the charitable group which provides funds to the families of deceased police officers and firefighters, as well as specialized training, technology and equipment for BSO and other police departments.
Members can also choose to pay up to $50,000 to join what’s called the “Diamond Chairman’s Circle,” the top tier of membership with additional benefits, including the ability to speak at events. BSAC.
THE RETURN OF THE SHERIFF’S FELLOW TONY OK
This is not Stahl’s first time on the BSAC board. He was a member of the board of directors when he was convicted of tax evasion by a federal court in New York on September 27, 2018. Under the board’s bylaws, a director is “automatically terminated” if he is ” convicted of a crime”. Stahl, who pleaded guilty, also resigned from his BSAC membership.
But termination at BSAC apparently doesn’t necessarily last forever.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has agreed to the wealthy convicted felon’s reinstatement on the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Board. He endorsed Stahl for a new BSO ID card and “deputy” badge despite a mandatory BSO background check which undoubtedly revealed Stahl’s conviction.
Why? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that a month before Stahl was taken to FCI Miami, a low-security federal prison in southwest Miami-Dade, his NextGen leadership donated $10,000 to Sheriff Tony’s Broward First Political Committee, according to state election records. .
Stahl’s donation was received on August 20, 2019 – two days after Tony defeated former sheriff Scott Israel in a hotly contested primary race, virtually securing Tony’s victory against a weak Republican challenger in the November general election. .
The BSAC board also approved Stahl’s membership and eventually handed him over to the board.
BSAC Chairman Marvin Andrew “Andy” Mitchell, owner of a Fort Lauderdale development company, said in response to emailed questions that “All board members have passed very thorough vetting. If you do not pass the background check, you cannot be a member.
Typically, passing a background check means that the person under investigation has no criminal convictions – or at least no felony convictions. Mitchell did not respond when asked how the board defines what it means to pass a BSO background check and whether the Sheriff’s Advisory Board is concerned that any of its board members may be a criminal.
STAHL PAID NO TAX ON $21 MILLION INCOME
Here’s what the BSAC’s bylaws say about the process: “All applicants for membership must submit a formal background check with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and receive approval from the BSO in order to receive credentials. of the BSO. Membership is based on people who pass the background check. Approval for membership will be by majority vote of the Board of Directors after receipt of the candidate’s background investigation. »
Court documents say Stahl, owner of both NextGen and its subsidiary DX Web Management, neglected to pay taxes on $21 million in income from 2010 to 2014. Indeed, Stahl “deliberately avoided filing tax returns and did not report a penny of income” to the Internal Revenue Service until an IRS revenue agent caught up with him in March 2015.
In response, Stahl hired a CPA, lied to him, and then caused false tax returns to be filed that “significantly understated” his earnings. Another year passed before Stahl, through his attorney, admitted to those lies, according to court documents.
“Stahl was the sole architect and beneficiary of this tax evasion scheme, in which he brazenly deceived the system to line his own pockets,” prosecutors told the judge.
In March 2019, Stahl was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $75,000. He was also ordered to pay the IRS $6.35 million in restitution, which he did. Stahl did not go to prison until six months later.
CONTAINMENT IN ‘TROPICAL COURTYARD PARADISE’
Records show that on April 24, 2020, amid the terrible early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, FCI Miami transferred Stahl to house arrest after serving less than eight months in prison. Here’s how Redfin describes Stahl’s two-story home, valued at up to $2.4 million, where Stahl served his sentence:
“Located in a private corner, double doors open to this tropical backyard paradise featuring a free-form pool, spa and waterfalls! The private courtyard leads to an elegant 3 bedroom + office and 3 bathroom home. bath in the main house and a bedroom and bath in the guest house.This attractive house is neutral and bright with vaulted ceilings, Saturnia marble floors, neutral carpeting, a beautiful built-in office/library, a open kitchen with 42″ light oak cabinets, granite counter tops, rolling pantry and charming breakfast nook overlooking the backyard.”
Today, as a felon on probation, Stahl reports regularly to the US Probation Board, whose job it is to monitor compliance with the terms of his release.
Stahl returned to the BSAC board shortly after his home confinement ended. His wife, Helene Fried Stahl, also sits on the board of BSAC. His son, Evan Stahl, and daughter-in-law, Yenise Stahl, are also members of BSAC.
The BSAC has approximately 150 members, including 15 board members plus Sheriff Tony who is an ex-officio non-voting member.
SECOND TAX CHEAT USED BSAC LETTERS TO INFLUENCE JUDGE
Lewis Stahl isn’t the only Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Board member to go to federal prison in 2019. Ralph Nabavi, the CEO of DNJ Logistics Group, with offices in Miami Springs and Coral Springs, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in April of this year. .
From 2013 to 2015, Nabavi’s freight forwarding company received “tens of millions of dollars in contracts from a private interstate shipping carrier,” according to its plea deal with the government. “During the relevant period, Ralph Nabavi transferred millions of dollars from DNJ accounts to his personal accounts.”
Bank statements showed Nabavi wasted much of that money in casinos, according to court records.
In his pre-sentence filing to U.S. Chief Justice Cecilia Altonaga asking for clemency, Nabavi included several “Dear Ralph” letters he had received from the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Board.
“Thank you for your February 25, 2017 donation of the 2016 Polaris Slingshot (a three-wheeled motorcycle) which was auctioned off for $40,000 at the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council Gala, Tribute to braverysays a letter signed by then-president James Robertson.
NABAVI OUT, ARRESTED AGAIN
Nabavi, a Pinecrest resident, was facing up to five years in prison for filing a false tax return in 2014 in which he reported only a fraction of the $6 million he made from DNJ that year -the. In August 2019, Altonaga sentenced him to 19 months in prison, followed by supervised release for three years. He was also ordered to pay the government $3.5 million in restitution. It’s unclear how much of that he paid back, if any.
Nabavi began his prison term in September 2019. He was released in 2021 but is back behind bars today.
Miami-Dade police arrested Nabavi on May 19, 2022 and charged him with a trio of crimes – grand theft of cargo, trafficking in stolen property and participating in an organized scheme to defraud.
The US probation office decided the same day to revoke Nabavi’s supervised release.
On June 13, after a brief trial, Judge Altonaga agreed, ordering Nabavi to return to prison for 18 months on the federal charges. When he gets out, he will be on probation for another 18 months.
State charges against Nabavi are pending.