Blog — Ethics
Former Jacksonville, FL City Council candidate Mincy Pollock was recently pulled into the scandal surrounding Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) and sham nonprofit One Door for Education. Pollock was visited by federal agents following allegations from his former business partner concerning checks that Pollock wrote from their business last year in a dizzying sequence of suspicious money movement—including two allegedly to One Door. A CREW investigation reveals that Pollock may have used One Door to indirectly fund a state ballot initiative expanding Medicaid, raising new questions about how One Door operated and why the One Door money was used to support the initiative.
On November 24, 2015, Blue Cross Blue Shield subsidiary Florida Blue wrote a $25,000 check to First Coast Multi-Lines Agency, LLC, a Florida Blue retailer where Pollock is a founding partner. Pollock deposited that money into the company’s account, and then, over several days, moved almost all of it out. He withdrew $2,500 in cash, wrote two checks totaling $10,850 to Siottis Jackson, an affiliate of Rep. Brown, for “consulting,” and then, on December 2, 2015, wrote two checks totaling $8,000 to “Open Door.” Pollock’s former partner, Rev. Anthony Beeks, says Sun Trust Bank confirmed to him that the “Open Door” checks were deposited in an account registered to One Door for Education.
The story may not end there. The $8,000 that Pollock allegedly directed to One Door matches the sum that One Door contributed over the next two weeks to a Florida ballot initiative committee working with Rep. Brown to expand Medicaid in the state. On December 9 and December 15, One Door made two $4,000 contributions to the PAC, Florida Health Solutions, totaling $8,000. These contributions account for more than 90 percent of the money Florida Health Solutions reports having raised. At the time, Pollock was the chairman of Florida Health Solutions, which puts him on both the giving and receiving ends of the One Door cash transfers.
The $10,850 that was paid to Siottis Jackson for consulting may possibly relate to Florida Health Solutions as well. Florida Health Solutions paid Jackson a reimbursement for campaign expenses, and the political committee shares a P.O. Box with Siottis Jackson, LLC.
It’s still not clear exactly what happened. Did Pollock misappropriate money from his company in order to fund his work on the Medicaid ballot effort? Did Florida Blue, a Medicaid provider that could possibly benefit from Medicaid expansion, give Pollock the money for the purpose of funding the initiative without revealing itself as the donor? Florida Blue denies any role in Pollock’s allocation of the funds, releasing a statement saying the company is “not involved in this apparent internal disagreement between the [First Coast Multi-Lines Agency] parties."
For his part, Pollock is refusing to talk about the allegations, telling Action News Jax “no comment.”
One thing that is clear, however, is that One Door’s contributions to Florida Health Solutions had nothing to do with its supposed charitable role as a “scholarship foundation.” Federal documents show that over the years the organization took in $800,000 in donations but only ever gave a single $1,000 scholarship. Instead, the money was transferred out of One Door and into personal accounts. The organization’s director, who recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud, transferred $140,000 to her own account. Two other individuals allegedly had access to the funds, one of whom is believed to be Rep. Brown.
Coincidentally, Mincy Pollock, Siottis Jackson, Rep. Brown, and Florida Health Solutions treasurer Von Alexander were discussing Florida Health Solutions at a Jacksonville restaurant when Rep. Brown and Alexander were served federal subpoenas in January. Details connecting the subpoenas to One Door began to emerge later that month.
Despite the cash infusion from One Door, Florida Health Solutions failed to gather enough signatures to qualify the Medicaid expansion initiative for the November ballot.
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