Prominent Miami criminal defense attorney Larry Handfield, the former chairman of the Public Health Trust, Jackson Health System’s governing board, has quietly pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns.
The criminal conviction is a surprising chapter in the career of Handfield, 57, one of South Florida’s most prominent African-American lawyers and civic leaders.
Handfield will serve 12 months of probation after he pleaded guilty late last month in Miami federal court to two misdemeanor tax-evasion charges. He must repay $78,842 in restitution to the government.
He is now facing an inquiry from the Florida Bar, which regulates the state’s lawyers.
“This was a seven-year-old matter, and when it was brought to my attention, I fully cooperated with the government and the matter was resolved with a misdemeanor,” Handfield said Monday.
Handfield said he has already paid the government the money and he expects his probation to be terminated by the end of the month.
Handfield, a Miami native, is well known in South Florida legal circles. Over the years, governors have appointed Handfield to several statewide commissions — including Florida’s Commission on Ethics.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Larry Handfield pleads guilty to tax fraud
David Ovalle has the story here detailing the plea in which Handfield will serve one year probation: