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Former Hernando Sheriff Candidate Accused of Fraud and Perjury

Luke Frazier, a candidate for Hernando County sheriff back in 2008, was arrested and charged with fraud and perjury this week. Authorities say that Frazier forged a deed on a vacant two-bedroom house in Spring Hill in 2007. They also accuse Frazier of collecting rent on the property, which was actually owned by another man, from approximately 2006 until this year.

According to the sheriff's department, Frazier's tenants stopped paying rent in November 2011, after Frazier failed to return their calls complaining about a leaky roof and overflowing septic tank. The tenants ended up moving out and then calling the sheriff's department after they became suspicious when Frazier never tried to collect any additional rent.

Investigators allege the house is actually owned by Richard Goszczynski. Goszczynski has apparently never met Frazier and told law enforcement that the signature on the deed was not his. Goszczynski did not know he owned the property until he was contacted by investigators in this case. Apparently, he inherited the property from a friend in 1999.

Detectives also allege that Frazier perjured himself by signing eviction documents this year, seeking to evict the current tenants of the property. He was arrested at the house while cleaning out the tenant's belongings and changing the locks.

Investigators say Frazier leased the house to three or four sets of tenants over the years and collected a total of $9,050 from the last two.

Frazier ran unsuccessfully for Hernando County commissioner in 2004 when he was 19 years old. He switched parties and ran as a Democrat in the sheriff's race in 2008. In that campaign, he accused the sheriff of unfairly targeting him personally, noting that he'd been arrested four times in Hernando County since 2004.

According to court records, Frazier was arrested in Hillsborough County in 2011 on charges of insurance fraud and grand theft in an apparently unrelated matter, but a jury acquitted him of both counts.

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  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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