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Department of Revenue Employee Quits After Loan-Sharking Arrest

April 17, 2012 - 6:00pm

A Florida Department of Revenue tax specialist pleaded not-guilty to loan-sharking charges Wednesday, nearly two weeks after quitting his job.

Dorian Harper, a 12-year employee, submitted his resignation April 5 -- nine days after he was arrested on eight counts of loan sharking. Harper allegedly used his Tallahassee office computer to track the transactions.

Appearing in Leon County Circuit Court, Harper was arraigned on the charges, which are second-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to 60 days in jail for each criminal count, plus court costs.

Harper remains free on $4,500 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 23.

He is represented by Mutaqee Akbar, who declined to comment on the case.

DOR spokeswoman Renee Watters said evidence of Harper's loan-sharking activities was obtained through inspections of his computer hard drive by the agency's inspector general's office.

"The Department continues to review appropriate action with respect to other employees involved in this matter," Watters said in a statement Wednesday.

Under state law, it is a crime to charge interest rates exceeding 25 percent. Harper was also charged with one count of making loans without a license, law-enforcement documents show.

Authorities have not divulged how many loans were made or for what amounts, or where Harper obtained his funds.

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

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