Miami-Dade candidate who reported deep pockets booked on campaign-finance charges

Sophia Lacayo, the former Sweetwater commissioner who reported spending $1 million of her own money in a failed bid for Miami-Dade County Commission last year, was booked in jail Tuesday on charges alleging campaign-finance violations.

Details of the charges weren’t available. But online booking records show Lacayo, 45, was brought to Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday on multiple counts related to campaign-finance laws. Those include filing false campaign reports and circumventing caps on how much money donors can contribute to campaigns. Bond was listed at $14,500.

READ MORE: She’s running for Miami-Dade commission and wants a judge to seal her perjury case

Lacayo, the owner of a tax-preparation business, stunned campaign watchers in 2022 when her campaign outspent her opponent, then-Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez, nearly 3-to-1 with a $1.8 million war chest.

About $1 million of that mostly consisted of funds from her own accounts and businesses she owned, according to campaign reports. Bermudez won the two-person race with more than 65% of the vote.

During the 2022 campaign for the District 12 commission seat, a Lacayo lawyer asked a judge to seal records from a prior criminal case. In 2020, Lacayo was arrested on perjury charges tied to where she claimed to live to qualify for her successful run for the Sweetwater city commission.

She did not serve jail time, but agreed to resign as part of her plea agreement. Lacayo withdrew the request for the records to be sealed after the filing became public.

Leave a Comment