Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Carmel on the Case: Hollywood Madam
A Hollywood madam, so to speak, sentenced to house arrest, but as our cameras found she didn't stay at home. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
WSVN -- Roberta Orenbuch was at the heart of a case that cost North Miami City attorney Barry Kutun his job. Orenbuch set up sex for money between Kutun and a 16-year-old girl and kept part of the money for herself.
According to court documents, Orenbuch arranged the liaisons, photographed Kutun and the victim and gave the victim a Xanax bar before each encounter. She was sentenced to two years community control, known as house arrest with electronic monitoring.
Marny Lewis: "It's almost like being in jail in your home. You have certain approved activities that you're allowed to do."
But when we watched her one Wednesday in September, Roberta Orenbuch didn't spend much time at her Fort. Lauderdale home. In fact, she spent seven hours running errands, that's more than most soccer moms. With two passengers in her car, Orenbuch hit the drive through at a bank stopped at a convenience store and drove through a fast food outlet for breakfast. Then, she stopped to visit at a private home. From there, she drove through a Hollywood smokes shop before driving into Miami-Dade for a stop at an office building. After that, it was time to gas up before shopping at a Pembroke Pines sports store and then lunch at another drive through.
Probation officials say, eating out even at drive throughs is not approved.
From there, Orenbuch cruised through a mall in Davie before stopping at another sports store in Plantation.
Back in Fort. Lauderdale she stopped at a shoe store. Remember this is a person on probation for child abuse who could have faced years in prison for her crime. Later she went to the grocery store.
Carmel Cafiero: "Is this appropriate?"
Marny Lewis: "No, no it isn't. We're definitely looking into this case. She should not have been doing all of those things."
It turns out the probation department was also watching Roberta Orenbuch. A monitoring bracelet on her ankle tracked her movements and when it was reviewed she was busted.
Marny Lewis: "In her particular case, we had some other information that needed to be verified and once we did that we did take her back into custody immediately."
Carmel Cafiero: "How can you justify spending the entire day running errands?"
As she was on her way back to jail, Orenbuch had nothing to say about her activities.
Carmel Cafiero: "Did you take advantage of the break the courts gave you?"
Now it will be up to a judge to decide if she gets another break.
Carmel Cafiero: "The probation department says it can't give specifics about how the system tracks criminals, but it says if someone violates the terms of their release there will be a record and a penalty."
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