Non-Profit Director Charged With Fraud

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The former executive director of a southwest Florida nonprofit is accused of misappropriating more than $900,000.

Lee County Jail records showed Robert Michael Eugene “Gene” Bruist remained in custody Monday.

The 35-year-old Fort Myers resident is facing fraud, grand theft and other charges for allegedly converting state, federal and private funds to his personal use including international travel.

The money was intended for the now defunct Center for Independent Living of Southwest Florida.

Court and jail records did not list a lawyer for Bruist.

The arrest resulted from a joint investigation by the state Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s Office of Fiscal Integrity.

If convicted, Bruist could receive a maximum of 95 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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