The Real Deal Miami

Miami Beach developer arrested for allegedly defrauding NFL star out of $2.2M

March 27, 2012 03:00PM

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Colts Defensive End Dwight Freeney

Miami Beach developer Michael Stern was arrested for his part in an alleged scheme that fraudelently netted $2.2 million from NFL star Dwight Freeney, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Stern, who was famously rebuffed in his efforts to demolish the historic coral rock house on Collins Avenue and later helped expose payoffs to Miami Beach building officials, was charged with wire fraud connected to a California restaurant deal with the Colts’ defensive end.

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation documents, Stern was introduced to Freeney through his one-time girlfriend and Freeney’s Los Angeles business manager Eva Weinberg. Under the name Michael Millar, Stern offered to help Freeney with a restaurant dispute in Los Angeles and land investors for the restaurant.

But Freeney found $2 million transferred from his restaurant investment account to a company called Arm’s Reach Consulting. Stern, his ex-wife and business associates made withdrawals from that account, according to the FBI. Investigators also said Stern intercepted a $50,000 check meant for Freeney from the Indianapolis Colts and tried to cash it last week.

He and Weinberg allegedly planned to flee the country once the scheme was complete.

The episode is not Stern’s first run-in with the law. He faced mulitple suits from partners accusing him of using forged documents to defraud them. However, he was never criminally charged. [Sun Sentinel]

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