Gambling Property Petitions Have Improper Names, Three Florida Men Sought

Posted on: March 25, 2024, 07:53h. 

Last updated on: March 25, 2024, 11:12h.

Florida officials arrested one man last week and are seeking two others after the names of dead residents were found on casino-related petitions.

A petition is signed
A petition is signed, pictured above. One man was arrested in Florida after casino-related petitions had improper signatures. (Image: AAUW)

Haggi Amirally, 29, of Miami, was arrested Thursday for handing in more than 1,100 improper signatures on the documents, authorities said.

Amirally was charged with six counts of using personal identification information concerning a deceased individual, according to Florida TV station WPEC.

He was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail and his case was turned over to local prosecutors.

Amirally was paid to collect signatures on the petitions, officials said.

Thousands of Illicit Signatures

Two other Miami residents continue to be sought by state officials on similar charges.

One is Alex Joseph, 29, who was charged with five counts of criminal use of personal identification information. He allegedly handed in more than 4,700 improper signatures on petitions.

Joseph also is a suspect in a petition fraud case in Colorado, WPEC reported.

The other man, Henos Joseph, 34, was charged with 13 counts of using personal identification information concerning a deceased individual. He turned in more than 3,700 improper signatures on petitions in Florida.

More charges are possible against the three Florida men.

The improper activity was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Department of State Office of Election Crimes and Security, and the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Prior Incidents

Last year, Kasandra Baylor, 65, of St. Petersburg, Fla., also submitted petitions displaying names of deceased individuals and forged names, according to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

Officials said petitions she handed in had signatures that failed to match, and that the people signing weren’t registered to vote, prosecutors said. Altogether, 477 of the 976 petitions Baylor collected were invalid. Baylor was charged with criminal use of personal identification information.

Other petition collectors were also charged last year on similar charges.

The petitions called for expanding card rooms into Las Vegas-style casinos. For the casino proposal to move forward, state officials need to see a sufficient number of legal signatures of registered voters on the petitions.

Supporters of expanded gambling in Florida are attempting to get enough signatures so that a constitutional amendment will appear on the 2024 ballot.

Among those trying to prevent such gambling expansion in the state is the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Tribe spent more than $40M to keep the question off the November 2022 ballot.