SAO: Latitude 360 arrests could happen by end of year

Arrests could come in a matter of months in the Latitude 360 investigation.

Fourth Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey revealed new details in the case to Action News Jax in an exclusive interview on Friday.

It's been more than seven months since the Jacksonville-headquartered hot spot suddenly shut its doors, leaving employees jobless. Many of them are still unable to cash their final paychecks.

Corey said her team is investigating upwards of 10 people involved in managing the company’s finances.

“We’re investigating anyone to do with the corporate management of this company that caused the problems that resulted in these employees not being paid,” said Corey. “There’s a world of white-collar crimes we can go after them on, but we just have to make sure we have the proof,” said Corey.

Corey was at her campaign office, just a few doors down from the office in which Latitude 360 employees filed for unemployment benefits in January, only to find out that their wages had never been filed with the Florida Department of Revenue.

“I am stunned that in light of the cases that have made national attention, like, Bernie Madoff comes to mind ... I’m just stunned that this can still happen in this day and age. Where are the controls? Where is the monitoring?” said Corey.

Investigations by Action News Jax have also uncovered evidence that the company owes millions in unpaid taxes and took money out of employees' paychecks for health insurance, but never paid that money to the insurance company.

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“You know, I hate to use such a cliche, but it’s like peeling back an onion. It’s been one layer at a time,” said Corey.

Corey said part of the challenge is the web of companies under the Latitude 360 umbrella.

She said that’s why she’s calling on the FBI for help.

“Because they are the experts on that type of multistate corporate financial white-collar crime,” said Corey.

In the meantime, Corey said she’s not worried about whether the people her office is investigating could be flight risks.

“I don’t know of a case where we haven’t been able to get a defendant back. We’ve gotten defendants back from Mexico, from Canada, from Europe,” said Corey.

Corey said she will likely hold a victim meeting later this year to update former employees on the investigation and answer their questions.

“I ask the victims to bear with us and to know that we are seeking justice for you,” said Corey.

She is asking victims of Latitude 360 to call her office at 904-255-3000 to share their stories and documentation.