Miami police officer arrested for participating in Ponzi scheme

Dermis Hernandez, 41, arrested while boarding flight to Costa Rica

MIAMI – A Miami police officer was arrested after an investigation showed his alleged participation in a Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said.

Dermis Hernandez, 41, was arrested Monday by the FBI as he was boarding a flight to Costa Rica at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"It is with great sadness that I report to you today that Officer Dermis Hernandez has failed to uphold his oath," Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina said at a news conference. "Officer Hernandez has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in conjunction with his involvement in a Ponzi scheme." 

Hernandez is accused of falsely representing to victims that he was able to offer a low risk investment with guaranteed returns through high-interest loans his company made to Costa Rican property owners.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Hernandez and his partners used investor funds for their own benefit and to pay the returns of other investors.

"The Miami Police Department condemns Officer Hernandez's disgraceful behavior and is moving swiftly to terminate his employment," Colina said.

Miami Fraternal Order of Police President Edward Lugo declined to comment on Hernandez's arrest.

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Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."