The 3rd District Court of Appeal took Coral Gables, Fla.-based Adorno & Yoss to the woodshed Wednesday for what it described as a “scheme to defraud” in Miami’s botched fire-fee settlement that awarded $7 million in taxpayer dollars to seven plaintiffs.

In a sharply worded opinion written by Judge Juan Ramirez Jr. and joined by Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg, the panel affirmed a Miami-Dade Circuit Court ruling last year that vacated the $7 million settlement in 2004 and disgorged the firm’s fee. In late June, the City Commission approved the distribution of $15.55 million to Miami property taxpayers.

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