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Trial begins in Mitchell Kraft conspiracy case

Kraft charged with unlawful compensation bribery, conspiracy

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Former Broward School Board member Stephanie Kraft was convicted of official misconduct in December, and now her husband Mitchell Kraft is facing a judge on unlawful compensation bribery and conspiracy charges.

In her opening statements, prosecutor Catherine Maus accused Kraft of accepting $10,000 from dirty developers Bruce and Shawn Chait in exchange for his wife's help in getting the developers a half million break on school board development fees.

"Mr. Kraft and Mrs. Kraft agreed to accept money in exchange for Mrs. Kraft doing something that was in violation of her duties," said Maus. "Going behind the scenes and getting an agenda item on the agenda, which the school board staff objected to because of the loss of a half a million dollars to the Broward County school system."

Kraft's attorney Kevin Kulik, claimed Kraft accepted the money from the Chaits based on honest work and pointed out that the developers have admitted to bribing numerous politicians.

"This whole case is based on the word of convicted crooks," said Kulik. "This is a fatal flaw in their case."

The prosecution's case is expected to resume Wednesday morning, possibly with testimony from the developers.

Stephanie Kraft was sentenced to five years of probation for her role in the conspiracy.