Okaloosa County Files Criminal Charges Against Vision Airlines

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During Monday’s news conference, authorities announced they are holding vision airlines responsible for fees they owe Okaloosa County in-connection to its short-lived operations at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

"We have charged that they failed to turnover one hundred seventeen thousand six hundred fifty six dollars and ninety-eight cents" said State Attorney Bill Eddins.

Vision Airlines began flying in-and-out of Nothwest Florida Regional in early 2011, but left the airport after one year. The county claims vision collected passenger facility charges during that year, but never turned them over to the county as required by federal law.

"We have notified the company that they have been charged. They have indicated to us they contest the charges. The penalties are in this case is a fine in as much as two times the amount taken" said Eddins.

The vision charges stem from the county's embezzlement investigation of former Tourist Development Council Director, Mark Bellinger, which is continuing.

"We've not sat back and said where did our money go and what happened here. Your sheriff's office and the state attorney's office, Florida department of law enforcement and the FBI have all been actively following these funds and attempting to find out where they were authorized, who they went to and was it appropriate” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley.