Ex-Teacher’s Union Boss Santeramo Charged With Stealing $165,000!


Here is the news that has been expected for months.

Disgraced former teacher’s union boss Pat Santeramo faces jail!

He is charged with, among other things, stealing $165,000 from the union.  Wow.

The money was part of a massive kickback scheme.  Contractors did work for the BTU and paid Santeramo under the table.

This is another victory for State Attorney Mike Satz’s investigators and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.  I applaud their work.

The news release is here:     


Ex-BTU Top Official charged


            The Broward State Attorney’s Office has charged former Broward Teachers Union president Patrick Santeramo with one count of racketeering and 19 other theft-related and campaign-fraud charges. 

             Santeramo turned himself in at the Broward County Jail Tuesday morning.

 Besides the Racketeering charge, Santeramo was charged with six counts of Grand Theft; five counts of Campaign Contribution Violations; four counts of Money Laundering; three counts of Organized Scheme to Defraud and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. The Warrant to Arrest was signed Monday by Broward Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes.

 The investigation, conducted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Broward State Attorney’s Office, showed that after Santeramo’s election as president of BTU in   November 2001, the new union president “began using the BTU as his artifice to organize his scheme to defraud the union and its members.”

 “Santeramo, while using his unilateral control of the union’s business to include contracting, vendor approval, payment authorization and distribution of union assets, manipulated the union’s business, accounting and financial operations for his own benefit,” according to the Affidavit to Arrest.

  Between 2001 and January 2012, Santeramo was able “to systematically divert approximately $165,500 in union funds to himself through an invoice-kickback scheme with a construction company.

  In one of those 43 instances of racketeering that investigators uncovered, Santeramo had the construction company bill BTU $89,295 for repairing the BTU building elevators. The company gave $20,000 of the union’s payment back to Santeramo in cash, investigators found.

  Santeramo is also accused of making a series of illegal campaign contributions by having 25 individuals, including BTU members, make donations to a variety of candidates for which he then reimbursed them with BTU funds. Santeramo also improperly collected more than $121,848 by claiming false sick time and vacation time, it was discovered.

 The lead investigator for BSO is Det. Michael Johnston. Assistant State Attorney Adriana Alcalde of the State Attorney’s Public Corruption Unit is prosecuting the case.

 Racketeering and Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering are first-degree felonies punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison.

 One Grand Theft charge is a first-degree felony, the other five charges are third-degree felonies.

 Four of the campaign contribution violations are third-degree felonies; one is a first-degree misdemeanor.

The four money-laundering charges are third-degree felonies.

 One count of Organized Scheme to Defraud is a first-degree felony, the second count is a second-degree felony, and the third count is a third-degree felony.

  Second degree felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison; third-degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

 Judge Holmes set bond for Santeramo at $480,000.


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NOTE: The Broward Sheriff’s Office will hold a press conference about this arrest at 12:30 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Room at the Broward Public Safety Building.


Ron Ishoy        Broward State Attorney’s Office       

2 Responses to “Ex-Teacher’s Union Boss Santeramo Charged With Stealing $165,000!”

  1. Taxpayer says:

    “….through an invoice-kickback scheme with a construction company.”
    who are the construction companies and are there penalties for them in the collusion and fraud?

  2. Bill Livesay says:

    So in 3 or 4 months when it’s been mostly forgotten, we’ll read on page 9 that he agreed to plead guilty to 1 misdemeanor count and pay restitution. The restitution will never be paid and he will serve no prison time. Also, no one involved will lose any professional licenses they may have and God forbid anyone’s pension is touched. Then it will be business as usual. That’s the way it is now and the way it’s always been in Broward (And Dade) County.