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Mike Murgio resigns from school board

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 20:14:34-04

Mike Murgio, the Palm Beach County School Board member who was indicted Thursday, has resigned in a letter to School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw.

The letter reads as follows:

It is with great regret that I tender my resignation effective immediately from The Palm Beach County School Board after serving 43 years dedicated to the growth of education and our children. However, I do recognize that the personal situation that I am presently going through may create a distraction to my fellow Board Members or the Palm Beach County School District. I remain committed to our communilty and the education of our children and I am hopeful that in the near future I will be able to dedicate my time and energy once again to the children, the Palm Beach County School Board and the community it serves.

Gov. Rick Scott's office confirms that it has received a copy of the letter and is reviewing it. 

Stuart Kaplan, Murgio's attorney, confirms to WPTV that Murgio is resigning and says that his client plans to enter a not guilty plea when he goes to court in New York.

Murgio, accused by federal prosecutors of playing a role in a bribery and money laundering scheme, will also drop his bid for re-election, his attorney, Stuart Kaplan, told the Sun-Sentinel earlier Friday.

"He doesn't want this to become a distraction to the school board or the kids," Kaplan told the paper.

Murgio was arrested at his home by FBI agents Thursday morning around 7. An arraignment is later this month in New York.

Kaplan tells us these charges came as a shock to Murgio. “I don’t think there is any indication that Mike Murgio with intent or knowledge did anything that he thought would certainly be in violation of the law. That is just not who Mike Murgio is,” said Kaplan. 

Federal authorities released the 22 page indictment yesterday. Murgio, along with his son Anthony and two others face charges in the 9 count indictment.

Prosecutors says the men were involved in an elaborate but illegal online bitcoin exchange operation. Federal authorities say the scheme involved laundering money for online criminals and bribing a Jersey-based credit union to take control of its board. 

NewsChannel 5's internet security expert Alan Crowetz says the alleged scheme was elaborate and complicated for a reason. “It's just another example of people using this latest and greatest technology that the legal system and the government haven’t caught up to yet. Taking advantages of nuances in that.”