Thursday, January 27, 2011

Parsing Hialeah, Mayor Julio Robaina, and Fraud

"The More He Did Borrow, The Bigger the Hole He Got."

That's easy for you to say.

You know, if the speaker was other than Alvin Entin, I'd mock the speaker. Because I got to. But with Alvin, its always possible he's pulling a Columbo. And even if he's not, how can you not love Alvin?

Alvin represented "Felipito", the flashy Hialeah jeweler sentenced in December to 10 years in the federal pen, for running a $40 million dollar ponzi scheme ( I know, I know: only 40 million! Chump change by Miami standards. But, we're talking Hialeah.)

Felipito started soliciting investors in 2006 to invest in his jewelry business, promising returns of 18 to 36 percent a year. He later promised up to 120 percent annual returns.

That doesn't sound too good to be true.

Mayor Julio apparently wanted in, to the tune of a $750,000 investment. And now the IRS is knocking, according to El Herald.

But when asked about the probe, JR declined to detail the loans made to Felipito, saying he "did not want to jeopardize the investigation."

Uh huh.

Julio shared something of his home life, however. According to the Herald, the two-term Hialeah mayor said his wife runs the household, including their personal finances.

``My wife deals with everything that has to do with my home. You ask me what we pay in the city and I can tell you the details. You ask me what we pay water, FPL in my home, I don't know,'' Robaina said. ``I'm not trying to blame her. I'm just saying she's the one who handles these things,'' Robaina said.

Sounds credible.

According to the Herald, "Robaina first said he had no direct business dealings with Perez. Two checks indicate otherwise, El Nuevo Herald has learned.

When Perez was first charged with fraud in June, Robaina told El Nuevo Herald that he did not have a direct business relationship with Perez. He said his wife's companies dealt with him.

Two checks obtained by El Nuevo Herald show Perez paid Robaina $6,00O -- $3,000 per check -- in September 2006. The checks were made out to Robaina. Robaina said the checks were interest payments on a loan that his wife's company made to Perez and that his name appeared erroneously."

Innocent mistake.

Alvin gets the last word.

``It is public that my client received three quarters of a million dollars from Julio Robaina. My client was repaying the loans at 36-percent-a-year interest. It is what it was,'' Entin said.

N.B.: As Yogi Berra said, you can observe a lot by watching.

1 comment:

  1. Let's focus on who the next mayor is going to be. Miami- Dade county needs someone with experience and someone who wants to help the community. I'm tired of the high property taxes and with the government not being transparent with us.