FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

Police in Fort Lauderdale charged four firefighters and had a search warrant out for a fifth as the five are accused of forging cardiac life support training certificates.

Freddie Batista, Steve Loleski, Gregory Jones, and Joseph Perri have all been charged. Michael Reimer, who recently resigned, has a warrant for his arrest.

According to Fort Lauderdale Police, an investigation began after the Florida Department of Health found a fraudulent cardiac life support training certificate during an audit. An internal investigation found more forged certificates.

The men are accused of doctoring their cardiovascular life support certification cards to look up to date, making them eligible for raises up to $15,000.

Renewals of the certificates are required every two years for fire rescue personnel by state law. An 8 hour course is offered through the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.

According to police, Batista told investigators he taught the course.

"Allegedly, your client and several other firefighters participated in a fraudulent scheme," Broward Judge John Hurley said during Batista's bond hearing.

The charges against the five men are below:

  • Reimer has an active warrant for the following charges:
    1 count of Uttering a Forged Document
    1 count of Grand Theft
    1 count of Official Misconduct
  • Batista, a 14 year veteran, has been charged with the following:
    5 counts of Forgery
    5 counts of Official Misconduct
  • Loleski, a 12 year veteran, has been charged with the following:
    1 count of Uttering a Forged Document
    1 count of Grand Theft
    1 count of Official Misconduct
  • Jones, a 6 year veteran, has been charged with the following:
    1 count of Uttering a Forged Document
    1 count of Grand Theft
    1 count of Official Misconduct
  • Perri, a 6 year veteran, has been charged with the following crimes:
    1 count of Uttering a Forged Document
    1 count of Official Misconduct

PHOTOS: Firefighters arrested

Published On: Oct 17 2012 11:10:28 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 17 2012 04:43:19 PM EDT
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Photo of Mike Reimer, who has an active warrant for 1 count of Uttering a Forged Document, 1 count of Grand Theft, and 1 count of Official Misconduct.

Fort Lauderdale Jack Seiler said the arrests are a black eye on the department.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said Seiler. "On behalf of all the good firefighters we have in the City of Fort Lauderdale, all the very dedicated men and women who have served with tremendous honor and integrity."

The investigation lasted for more than a year.

The four suspects must have a Nebbia hearing before they can bond out of jail. A Nebbia hold requires the defendant and co-signers of the bond (his friend or family member) to produce and disclose the source of bail premium and collateral prior to the defendant's release on bail.