(SNews) – Authorities in Florida have arrested North Beach Miami’s Democrat mayor on voter fraud charges.
Mayor Anthony DeFillipo is facing 15 years in prison after being charged with three felony counts of voter fraud.
The charges are third-degree felonies, with each count punishable with up to five years in prison.
An investigation was launched into DeFillipo six months before his arrest.
Late last year, a complaint was filed against DeFillipo with the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust.
The complaint alleged that DeFillipo lived in the town of Davie in Broward County.
The North Miami Beach charter requires that elected officials must reside in the city.
DeFillipo admitted that he owns a property in Davie but claimed he didn’t live there.
He said the home was for his family to live in because he was experiencing marital issues at the time.
The mayor insisted that he lives at his property in North Miami Beach.
Records show that DeFillipo owns two properties in Davie, which he admitted.
According to Broward County property records, DeFillipo and his wife purchased a six-bedroom home in the Sierra Ranches community in Davie for $1,226,500 in July 2022.
He acknowledged that he serves on the homeowners association board for the Davie community.
However, an investigation into DeFillipo revealed that the Democrat mayor had relocated to his residence in Davie.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle accused DeFillipo of driving from Davie to North Miami Beach to illegally cast his vote in three different elections in August, October, and November 2022.
DeFillipo was caught after prosecutors obtained his cell phone data, Rundle said.
Rundle’s office utilized cell phone data to determine that DeFillipo traveled from his property in Davie to vote in a precinct in North Miami Beach, and then returned to his home in Davie.
“We believe the evidence shows (DeFillipo) voted illegally three times,” Rundle declared.
Rundle said, “Our voting laws apply to everyone.
“There are no unwritten exceptions.”
DeFillipo has denied the allegations of voter fraud.
Michael Pizzi, DeFillipo’s attorney, claims that his client’s arrest is politically motivated.
“The mayor has explained over and over again, and under oath, he always intended to and always lived in North Miami Beach,” Pizzi said.
“We look forward to a speedy exoneration.”
“A registered Democrat, DeFillipo, 51, served on the city commission for five years before becoming mayor in 2018,” the Miami Herald reported.
“A licensed real estate broker, DeFillipo is CEO of TD Managing Enterprise.”
DeFillipo is reportedly the third North Miami Beach mayor to be arrested in 11 years.