Thursday, May 18, 2017

NPR: Scam that put local Miami scion in jail described as "a subterranean ATM, and only the developers know the PIN" ... by gimleteye

The biggest problem facing Miami has been corruption. Listen to the NPR investigative report, "Affordable House Program Costs More, Shelters Fewer". Local scion Matt Greer is one of the principals nabbed in a federal indictment and prosecution detailed in the NPR report beginning around minute 17.

Greer's mother, ex-mayor of a small south Florida municipality, and father, director of Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, are investors in commercial real estate. You can read our posts on Greer and Fairchild Gardens, here.


That was before Cox discovered his partners Lloyd Boggio and Matt Greer were stealing money from their developments, and he eventually joined them. Together, according to court records, $34 million was stolen from 14 tax credit projects, including almost $2 million from Labre Place.

"It was a construction kickback scheme," Cox recalls. "The scam was to submit grossly inflated construction numbers to the state in order to get more money than the project required and then have an agreement with the contractor to get it back during construction."

"I convinced myself that this was OK and that I was doing such good works and I was building amazing projects in the community," he adds.

Last year, Boggio, Greer and another partner, Gonzalo DeRamon, pleaded guilty to crimes related to the kickback scheme and were sentenced to prison. Cox was sentenced to home confinement and probation. He cooperated with prosecutors, never spent his portion of the money and returned all of it. But the impact of his theft is lasting.

"At Labre, if the costs had been stated in a correct way, we could have built 10 more housing units. So, that's 10 more people every year that that project could have served," Cox says. "That's 10 lives. So it's those people that really take it on the chin when costs are inflated."

"A program of trust"

In a government office building just a few blocks from Labre Place, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin has spent five years investigating the tax credit program in Florida. He also unraveled the Carlisle/Biscayne theft.

"This program has been described as a subterranean ATM, and only the developers know the PIN," Sherwin says.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quote"

"spent five years investigating the tax credit program in Florida."

It always astounds me how Yeeeaaaarrrsss go by till a investigation by "Agencies" produce something tangible, and sometimes only sometime.

I guess at those piddly millions, we wont see the accused run for governor.

Is there a typo in there? 34 millions could have produced 10 more units? that would be 3.4 millions per unit. Quite palatial.

Anonymous said...

Matt Greer got three years for his part in stealing $34 Million from tax payers and the needy. If a poor person with no connections were to commit burglary in Florida and cause over $1,000 in losses the law (Florida Statutes Section 810.011-810.06) could sentence him/her to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. That is over five times more time for less than ten thousand times less in property crime. Sentencing laws are fucking unfair.

Anonymous said...

Should have attached his family's assets too.

Anonymous said...

Did Matt Greer surrender the money plus penalty?

Anonymous said...

Actually, you missed one, Rene Sierra. He was sentenced to six months’ home confinement and ordered to forfeit approximately $1.2 million. He’s South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard’s buddy and he served as the contractor on South Miami’s newest affordable housing project, Metro South Apartments, across from city hall – he’s a convicted criminal. 28 South Miami applicants applied for one of 91 affordable units at Sierra’s Metro South – and only 11 were selected. The others didn’t earn enough to meet Metro South’s affordability threshold.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for educating us on Miami high society.

Anonymous said...

You don't understand. When you become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, it takes a lot to maintain that lifestyle. I bet he tried to get help from his good friend Katy Sorensen. They belong to a clique of white privileged, Pinecrest democrats who believe they are above the law. They absolve themselves by doing "charity" work, and they are horrendous gossips. I am sure his sentencing was a result of tapping on the shoulders of important friends. Too bad Katy's school closed. She could have used him as a guest speaker.