State worker, consultant plead guilty in bribery scheme

August 3, 2022 GMT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former state child welfare worker and a substance abuse consultant pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a bribery scheme in South Florida.

Alexandra Alia Cadet, 31, of West Palm Beach, and Shannel Simone Escoffery, 34, of Coral Springs, pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy in Fort Lauderdale federal court, according to court records. Sentencing is set for Oct. 18.

According to court documents, Cadet was a licensing specialist in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health office for the Florida Department of Children and Families. She was responsible for reviewing license applications submitted by substance abuse treatment facilities. Escoffery was a consultant for those facilities and helped prepare licensing applications and submit them to DCF.

As part of the bribery scheme, Escoffery would solicit payments from facilities and then turn over all or some of the money to Cadet in exchange for Cadet’s expedited review and recommendation of approval of licenses.