By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
White did not see the Campbells again for about a year. Then, she claims, things took a turn for the weird. One day in October 2008, a bank customer-service representative mentioned two accounts in the name of Heart of Love. Oddly, she wasn't a signatory. "I had no knowledge of these accounts," she insists. "I couldn't close or pull any money from them. But Hubert and Daphne had access to both accounts." (White provided New Times with copies of bank account applications dated October 15, 2007, supporting her claims that the only two signatories were Daphne and Hubert Campbell.)
White says she then drove to the Campbells' office at 640 NE 149th St. "Hubert came out, and I said, 'No more,'" White recollects. "I told him I knew about the two other accounts. His face turned pale, and he started stuttering."
About a month later, White allegedly learned the Campbells had opened a group home in Plantation using Heart of Love's license. She drove to the facility and found it in disarray. "The kitchen was total filth," White grouses. "Three of the bedrooms were so grimy and dirty that I had to throw the bed sheets in the garbage. It was disgusting."
So on January 25, 2009, White dissolved Heart of Love and gave up her group home license.
That's where Rose White's friend, Nebert Whyte, comes in. The retired nurse, who lives in Lehigh Acres in Lee County, met the Campbells at the same church. Soon they went into business together. Whyte says they bought a place in Lehigh Acres that the Campbells agreed to run while paying her $4,000 a month. It was a verbal agreement.
Whyte says that at one point she agreed to let the Campbells use a stamp bearing her signature to sign payroll checks. "Since I lived in Lee County, I found it reasonable... I wouldn't have to travel back and forth so much," she says. "Until one day when I decided to look at one of the statements."
Whyte contends she discovered that her company was receiving thousands of dollars in Medicaid payments from the state. She showed New Times a copy of the company's February 2009 bank statement, which shows $30,000 from the state was transferred to a Deutsche Bank account that Whyte claims is not hers. A month later, on March 4, Whyte closed the business account with Hubert as a cosigner and opened a new one to which only she had access. "I let [Daphne Campbell] know that I thought she and her husband were cheats and liars," she says. "She said I was going to be sorry."
A week later, on March 12, Whyte received a letter from the Campbells demanding she pay $25,000 for terminating a consulting agreement. Problem is, Whyte says, she had never seen or signed such a document.
The Campbells' lawyer, Michael Etienne, declined to discuss the correspondence or any of the other claims. "These are matters that are going to be litigated," he says, "so we will not be commenting on them. But Daphne is innocent."
He also refused to speak about the Campbells' financial and legal troubles. Hubert pleaded guilty in 2007 to using a fraudulent social security number to obtain mortgages totaling $796,000 for three properties in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, as well as a $31,000 car loan. He received three years of probation and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
Daphne Campbell's federal records show only a 2008 lien by the IRS against an office building she owns. The agency claimed she owed $20,000 in employee taxes.
This past July 17, Hubert filed for bankruptcy. He claimed $423,000 in assets and $400,000 in debts. On August 20, a bank foreclosed on an eight-unit apartment building owned by Daphne Campbell and her daughter. The company claims they missed too many payments on a $225,000 mortgage.
Despite all of these problems, Campbell beat her opponent, Alix Desulme, by 367 votes this past August 24 to take the seat representing District 108. The claims were never discussed. She'll take office in November.
White and Whyte won't attend the swearing-in. The IRS claims they owe $135,000 in unpaid employee taxes. The two have no other blemishes, civil or criminal, on their records except for some overdue credit card bills that were later paid. "They got me hook, line, and sinker," Whyte grumbles.
The women have reported their claims to Wachovia's fraud department, the FBI, and state Medicaid fraud investigators but have received no response. Etters, the state spokeswoman, says investigators recently found no evidence the Campbells were operating group homes without a license. White says those investigators never contacted her. "All I wanted was to work with disabled people," she says. "The Campbells ruined it for me. I will not rest until the public knows they put the Devil in office."