| Columns |

Former CEO of Veteran's Assistance Agency Gets 85 Days In the Slammer

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The former head of a Liberty City non-profit agency that assisted veterans will spend 85 days in jail for stealing taxpayer money meant to help vets get back on their feet. Last week, 60-year-old Charles Leon Cutler was sentenced following his conviction in March on two counts of grand theft. The former chief executive of Veteran's Employment Transition Services, Inc., aka VETS, will also serve four years of probation and pay pack restitution to Miami-Dade County.

An investigation by the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office discovered Cutler pocketed $6,000 from a $100,000 county grant VETS received through the Miami Community Redevelopment Agency in 2007. Most of the money was used to create a hospitality training program at the Greater Bethel AME Community Church. The CRA later transferred management of the contract to Miami-Dade College.

Cutler was supposed to return what was left of the grant. Instead, he wrote $4,000 in checks from the grant account, and more than $2,000 to friends and family, according to a Miami-Dade Inspector General report. He disguised the payouts as project expenses, prosecutors said.

The ex-CEO tried to cover up the theft when investigators began sniffing around. He diverted more than $6,000 from a separate county grant to help pay back the stolen money, according to the Miami-Dade Inspector General.

Cutler is awaiting trial in another taxpayer scam in which he allegedly stole $13,000 in county grant money to fund a veterans summit in 2008 that never happened. His organization, VETS, no longer exists.

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.