MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Prosecutors investigating former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina made a startling discovery in building a tax evasion case against him and his wife.
Robaina had a secret mistress and demanded that he be paid in cash secretly on a high interest loan he made to a convicted Ponzi schemer, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
This revelation was made public after a judge granted a Miami Herald request to unseal specific documents in the prosecution’s tax evasion case against Robaina and his wife Raiza.
Robaina was reportedly paid more than $300,000 in cash by Luis Felipe Perez who pleaded guilty to running a $45 million jewelry-investment scam. The mistress is not identified in the released court documents.
Last May, the Robainas were charged with fraud, conspiracy and falsifying documents.
The charges were the result of an investigation, first reported by CBS4 News in 2011, which stems from allegations made against Robaina by Perez.
Click Here to read the indictment filed against the Robainas.
Perez, known by the nickname Felipito, cooperated with federal prosecutors in an attempt to reduce his ten-year prison term.
The Robaina investigation centers on a series of loans Robaina and his wife made to Perez over an 18-month period starting in 2006 or 2007. The total amount of money Perez borrowed from the Robainas was $750,000.
Perez needed the money to keep his Ponzi scheme afloat.
The loans, some of which were made in the form of mortgages on Perez properties, stipulated on paper an interest rate of 18 percent. But Perez has reportedly told prosecutors that the actual interest rate was 36 percent – a usury rate that would be illegal.
Perez claimed the mortgage documents and promissory notes were deliberately falsified to cover the illegal transaction. He has also claimed that the illegal portions of the payments were made in cash to Robaina.
Prosecutors contend that the Robainas conspired to evade paying income taxes, failed to report the secret cash payments and lied about their joint business that made the loans to Perez.
They’re also accused of under reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in income between 2005 and 2007.
The Robainas face trial April 10.
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