MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The management company which operates the hotel at Miami International Airport is under investigation for possible billing discrepancies concerning three renovation projects.

The billing probe hotel operator H.I. Development was conducted by Miami-Dade state attorney’s office and the Office of the Inspector General, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

In a memo earlier this month to the county’s aviation director Jose Abreau, Inspector General Christopher Mazzella said he could only provide a general outline of the probe because criminal charges may be filed.

Mazzella did not delve into how the company may have defrauded the county, or what dollar amounts might be involved.

H.I. Development is paid a flat management fee by the county which reimburses it for expenses.

In a letter last December to Abreau and the county’s commission, H.I. Development President Andre P. Callen said the three hotel renovation expenses probed by the inspector general or questioned by the aviation department involved a wallpaper purchase, a bathtub refinishing project and a bathroom mirror replacement project.

The inspector general could not account for the wallpaper purchase, according to a letter, but an inventory of the wallpaper exists. And while the aviation department considers that there were problems with the completion and billing of the bathtub and bathroom mirror projects, both were “fully completed and properly billed,” according to the letter.

Abreau has harshly criticized H.I. Development in the past and said the county was going to bid for a new management company contract and they would not be recommended.

H.I. Development, based out of Tampa, has run the 263-room hotel since 1989 — and, under a separate contract, the hotel’s conference center and restaurant.
Click Here to read more at CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.


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