Fort White man indicted on charges of social security theft

Gary Broccoli, 52, also faces federal charge for forced labor

2009 Florida Department of Corrections photo of Guarino E. Broccoli Jr.
2009 Florida Department of Corrections photo of Guarino E. Broccoli Jr.

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A Fort White man was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of stealing social security benefits in addition to a count of forced labor, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Jacksonville.

For the three counts of Social Security theft, 53-year-old Guarino Edwards Broccoli, who also goes by the names Gary Broccoli and Gary Edwards, could face 10 years in prison per charge. For Broccoli's three charges, two are for the theft of child auxiliary benefits of two minor children and the other is for theft of disability benefits.

According to the indictment, the United States may forfeit Broccoli’s Fort White property and $284,278 of assets to cover the theft of the Social Security benefits.

Broccoli was accused of sexually abusing a woman and forcing her to work for him in May. Broccoli allegedly threatened to harm the woman if she did not provide services, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow said.

Meghan Gregory was one of several who contacted News4Jax via Facebook after an article about the original charge of forced labor was posted last month. Gregory said she believed she was married to Broccoli until she found out Broccoli was married to another woman.

Gregory, who now lives in Oklahoma, said she escaped foul conditions in Columbia County several years ago after being hospitalized.

“Gary was keeping me in a camper trailer with no electricity, no water, no food,” Gregory said.

Broccoli served a six-month prison sentence on a conviction for multiple charges of grand theft, criminal mischief and fraud. While Broccoli didn't have any bigamy charges, he was arrested twice in 2007. He was arrested again in Columbia County for passing worthless checks.

Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington will prosecute the case. Because the investigation is ongoing, the State Attorneys' office asks anybody with additional information to call the FBI-Jacksonville Field Office at 904-248-7000.