Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged seven Florida construction executives with pocketing $36 million in U.S. tax credits intended for government-subsidized, affordable housing projects in the Miami area.
Executives Matthew Greer and Lloyd Boggio at Carlisle Development Group, once Florida’s largest developer of affordable housing, allegedly padded construction costs, took millions of dollars in kickbacks from contractors, and set up shell companies to collect the payments without raising questions, prosecutors said. Others allegedly involved are the presidents of both BJ&K and Siltek, the former president and the co-founder of Biscayne Housing Group, and independent contractor Arturo Hevia.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said his office has recovered approximately $11 million of the stolen money, which was intended for housing for poor, homeless and elderly Floridians.
Despite intense oversight by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. and scrutiny by state underwriters and auditors, the alleged fraud had been going on for some time until two senior Carlisle executives quit their jobs in 2011 and exposed the illegal activity to the U.S. attorney’s office, according to The Miami Herald.
The defendants, whom Ferrer said were “motivated by personal greed,” were earning millions of dollars in fees from the 14 government-subsidized projects involved in the alleged theft.
One executive pleaded guilty to the charges, and the others reportedly are negotiating plea deals.