This Hour: Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment

This Hour: Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment

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Florida man, age 83, says he hid over $1M from IRS

NEW YORK (AP) - An 83-year-old Florida man has pleaded guilty to federal charges, admitting that he conspired to hide more than $1 million from the Internal Revenue Service by stashing it in foreign bank accounts.

Bernard Kramer of Del Ray Beach, Florida entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. He admitted that he filed false tax returns with the IRS from 1987 through 2012. Prosecutors said he stored the money in private banks in Zurich, Switzerland and at an Israeli bank headquartered in Ramat Gan, Israel.

Although the charges carry a maximum potential penalty of eight years in prison, prosecutors say Kramer is cooperating with the government. They said he will pay a penalty of $588,000 along with back taxes.

Sentencing was set for Feb. 6.


Scientists meet with Gov. Scott on climate change

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Five scientists who met with Gov. Rick Scott are convinced that climate change is real, but what they are less sure about is whether the governor believes them.

The scientists met with Scott in his office Tuesday, presenting him with charts to show the increase in greenhouse gasses since the industrial revolution, as well as corresponding rises in sea levels and temperatures.

Scott listened politely and asked minor questions about the handout he was given, but gave no indication whether he was concerned with or even believed the science he was shown.

A large group of reporters watched the presentation, but Scott didn't take their questions afterward, saying he had another appointment. His staff couldn't immediately say what that appointment was.


California environmentalist shakes up Florida race

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A California billionaire environmentalist is shaking up the Florida governor's race by spending millions to organize Hispanic and youth voters and buy attack ads targeting Gov. Rick Scott.

The move by former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer has put Scott and Republicans on the defensive. They have hit back with their own ads and threatened television stations with lawsuits if they continue to carry the ads. Lawyers for Scott contend the ads are misleading and has gotten one station to drop them.

Steyer's group is called "NextGen Climate" and it began its blitz of attack ads earlier this month.

One ad targeted Scott's environmental record while another ad criticized Scott over a state law that allowed utilities to charge customers for nuclear power projects even if they don't get built.


Another Rothstein scam figure pleads guilty

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Another figure in the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme operated by disbarred lawyer Scott Rothstein has pleaded guilty in Fort Lauderdale federal court.

Court records show Frank Preve pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud conspiracy, which carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Sentencing was set for Dec. 12.

Preve ran the Banyon Group, which invested in Rothstein's supposedly confidential but ultimately bogus legal settlements.

Court documents say Preve was aware a few months before the scheme collapsed in 2009 that Rothstein was not keeping his commitments to the Banyon investors and that Preve failed to inform them. Preve's lawyer has described the violations as mainly technical.

Nearly two dozen people have been convicted in the Rothstein case. Rothstein himself is serving a 50-year prison term.


Man gets life for 2 murders, 1 attempted murder

(Information in the following story is from: Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat,

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida Panhandle man has been sentenced to life in prison for attacking his ex-girlfriend with a knife and killing her father and new boyfriend.

A Wakulla County judge gave 27-year-old Andrew Michael Wilson four life sentences Tuesday. A jury in June convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. The same panel later recommended life in prison, rather than the death penalty.

One night in March 2011, authorities say Wilson sneaked into the singlewide trailer of his ex-girlfriend's father. That's where he fatally stabbed 62-year-old John McKenzie and 24-year-old Patrick Pittman. Then-19-year-old Gabrielle McKenzie - the mother of Wilson's infant son - was stabbed multiple times but survived.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Wilson was arrested within hours of the attack after he crashed his car in front of a southwest Georgia deputy's house.


Florida pension plan posts strong year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's main retirement account for state workers, teachers and other public employees is growing by a double-digit margin.

The State Board of Administration released preliminary numbers Tuesday showing that the Florida Retirement System plan grew 17.4 percent in the last fiscal year.

The pension plan had a market value of more than $149 billion at the end of June. That left the pension plan with a nearly $17 billion increase.

Some Republican leaders in the Florida Legislature have questioned the fiscal health of the pension plan over the last two years.

State investment officials also reported that the number of state workers choosing to enroll in the state investment plan is continuing to grow as well. The investment plan functions fairly similar to 401(k) plans offered by private employers.


Ingram's confidence surging after strong outings

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram isn't letting a humbling start to his pro career undermine his opinion of what he can still accomplish in the NFL.

With 1,605 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns in his first three pro seasons, Alabama's first Heisman Trophy winner is now a widely perceived under-achiever in the NFL.

Still, Ingram has said this week that he aims to be one of the best running backs in NFL history, adding that experience has made him more comfortable with what it takes to succeed as an NFL running back. Coaches and teammates agree, saying Ingram looks as confident and comfortable as ever.

Ingram has averaged 7.8 yards per carry in the preseason, and has scored touchdowns running and receiving.

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