OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – A Local 10 News hidden camera investigation discovered disabled parking permits are being sold online without any required doctor authorization.
All people needed to do was send a man, Richie Milto, the cash, and he would hand over everything they needed, no questions asked.
Local 10 News’ Jeff Weinsier confronted Milto about what he’s been up to.
“Guys, put that camera down,” Milto said.
“I’m not putting the camera down, we want everyone to see you,” Weinsier replied.
“OK, you saw me, good,” said Milto.
There is a good reason why Milto didn’t want to talk, and that’s because he had been busted for selling the disabled permits.
“It’s for a friend, I’m doing it,” Milto claimed.
Milto’s Instagram page, under the name “Richie Rich Tagman” appeared to be blatantly and openly selling the disabled permits.
One post said, “Handicapped parking permits available all you need is a license. Direct message me if you’re interested.”
So that’s what Local 10 News did, with the help of an unidentified volunteer. Someone responded to the message immediately.
“All you need is an ID. That is it.”
“Send me your ID and 200 and I’ll send you the handicapped.”
“You have friends that need handicapped or temp tags let me know.”
After $200 had been sent to a Zelle account, Milto agreed to meet Local 10′s volunteer in a Broward parking lot.
He handed over an envelope that said “Doctor’s Report.”
“Here is your form,” Milto told the volunteer. “You have to sign it. Walk into any motor vehicles. (You’ve) got everything.”
He added, “If you know anyone else, call them and give them my name.”
The volunteer told Weinsier that it had been about a day between when he paid the $200 and when Milto had the form.
“Did you ever go see a doctor to get that placard?” Weinsier asked the volunteer.
“No I did not,” he replied.
“Did he ever ask you to see a doctor?” Weinsier asked.
“Never,” the volunteer replied. “I’m shocked to be honest with you. I did not think someone could stoop that low.”
Inside the envelope Milto gave to the volunteer was an application for a disabled parking permit — and it had already been filled out.
It included a doctor’s name, her state license number and her signature. Checked off as the diagnosis on the application was a “severe limitation in a person’s ability to walk due to arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.”
The doctor listed is Dr. Linda Bach.
“That is not my signature,” she told Weinsier. “(It’s) forged.”
Bach is 76 years old and has been retired for years. She is concerned.
“I’m not happy about it obviously, and I appreciate you trying to find out who is doing it and stop them,” she said.
Bach said she had never heard of Richie Milto.
“That’s not my signature, in any way shape or form,” she said.
Arno Vergara, a paraplegic who was injured in a motorcycle accident 30 years ago, called Milto “ignorant and selfish.”
“But I really want to say I’m not surprised,” he said. “I don’t know if you can go any lower that that.”
Every time Vergara gets behind the wheel, there is extreme anxiety.
“When I get there, there is no handicapped spot, what am I going to do now?” Vergara said. “Sometimes you might miss an appointment, sometimes you may not be able to do the errand you want to do.”
After Local 10 News confronted Milto, he took his online business venture down.
He was also selling Florida transporter license plates and Indiana temporary tags.
An estimated 1.3 million Floridians currently have permanent blue disabled parking permits.
They must be renewed every four years and a doctor must sign off on a disability.
“Disabled parking is one of the keys to independence for a person with mobility impairments,” Matt Dietz, founder of the Disability Independence Group, told Local 10 News.
Dietz has been working with people with disabilities for more than 25 years and is currently the director of the Disability Inclusion and Advocacy Law Clinic at Nova Southeastern University.
“The problem is, this was so blatant,” said Dietz. “This person felt he could get away with it. He wasn’t going to get caught. No one looks. No one cares. And when we get to the point no one cares, we as a society have a problem.”
The Florida Highway Patrol cares, and they are currently investigating. Local 10 News gave them the forged application handed to our volunteer.
Forgery is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. At this point, no one is behind bars.
“Nobody’s confronted him until you have, and just to think he is one person that you caught,” said Vergara. “How many others are out there doing this? That guy needs to be in jail.”