Candidate for Miami Lakes council charged with practicing law without a license, grand theft

Community By Linda Trischitta, Editor Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A candidate for the Miami Lakes town council is accused by the state attorney’s office of grand theft and practicing law without a license.

Ian Anthony Medina, 28, of Miami Lakes, was arrested July 2 on a warrant for the felony charges.

“The charges are not true,” Medina said on July 6. “I am a lawyer, but I’m not licensed.”

Medina claims questions about mental health on bar applications in Florida and Georgia kept him from becoming licensed. 

“I’m under strict treatment for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia that doesn’t affect me in my work, and I’d be qualified to be a town councilman,” Medina said.

Prosecutors have also charged Medina with filing a false statement with the Florida Department of State and organized scheme to defraud.  

Medina was released from county jail on a $40,000 bond.

During the last week of June, Medina filed paperwork at Miami Lakes Town Hall to run for town council Seat 2, which is currently held by Vice Mayor Jeffrey Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is not seeking another term.

Candidates Raymond Garcia, a health insurance manager, and attorney William G. Perez are also vying for Seat 2 in the Nov. 8 election.

The Florida Bar complained to the state attorney’s office in Miami that Medina was presenting himself as an attorney and taking money from people for legal services that he never performed, the warrant states.

The Bar reported that it received two complaints.

One man said he hired Medina in Nov. 2021 for a personal injury case and paid him $500 and in Feb. 2022, $3,000, according to the document.

A woman told the Bar that in 2022, she paid $500 for an elder legal case and that Medina asked for another $250.

Medina, who is representing himself, said he drafted a will, power of attorney and a healthcare surrogate form for the elderly client.

But prosecutors say Medina did not perform legal services for either of the two complainants.

The Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts site shows Medina filed a written plea of not guilty.

Medina said he will “definitely” continue his campaign to join the council.

“I was born and raised here in Miami Lakes,” Medina said. “I love Miami Lakes. I want to contribute in any way that I can.  I want to keep it a safe place. And I want to save Optimist Park.”