Criminal Law / In the News / Law / News / South Florida News

Current Hialeah mayor admits to making high-interest loans to convicted Ponzi schemer Luis Felipe Perez

Hialeah’s former mayor and his wife are charged with failing to report about $2 million in income to the Internal Revenue Service and lying about it to investigators.Julio and Raiza Robaina are accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable compensation — including a Ferrari sports car worth $176,000 — and money from high-interest personal loans to friends and associates, including convicted Ponzi schemer Luis Felipe Perez. The interest rate topped out at 36 percent annually.

Prosecutors also said they used three shell companies that did almost no business to claim thousands of dollars in tax deductions that were actually their own personal and political expenses — including cuff links and cigar boxes the mayor doled out as gifts and printing of his Christmas cards.

The current Hialeah mayor, Carlos Hernandez, testified that he also made high-interest loans to Perez and collected thousands of dollars in payments. Hernandez has not been charged with any crime and testified as a government witness in the Robaina case.



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