The Real Deal Miami

Convicted felon borrows $56M for Lincoln-Marti schools

Financing covers 72 properties in Little Havana, Miami, Homestead, Florida City and more

November 09, 2015 10:30AM
By Katherine Kallergis

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Lincoln-Mart school at 2700 Southwest Eighth Street in Little Havana and Demetrio Perez Jr

Lincoln-Marti school at 2700 Southwest Eighth Street in Little Havana (inset: Demetrio Perez Jr.)

The founder of the popular Lincoln-Marti schools has closed on a $56.2 million mortgage for more than 70 properties in Miami-Dade County, records show.

Demetrio Perez Jr., who pleaded guilty to felony charges of defrauding elderly tenants in low-income Little Havana apartments in 2002, signed the loan as the sole managing member of 19 companies, including DP Real Estate Holdings LLC. BankUnited is the lender, according to Miami-Dade County records.

The financing covers 75 properties, including Lincoln-Marti charter schools and day care facilities in Little Havana, Miami, Hialeah, Florida City, Homestead and more.

Perez, also a former city of Miami commissioner and Miami-Dade County School Board member, was sentenced to six months of house arrest and 18 months of probation in 2002. Later, in 2012, county commissioners provided Perez with $110 million in municipal bonds for his private charter schools, the Miami New Times reported. That financing allowed Perez’s nonprofit Lincoln-Marti Schools to acquire his private companies, improve schools he owned and buy more charter schools in Hialeah and Florida City, according to the newspaper.