The Real Deal Miami

Complaints pile up in allegations of development fraud

June 03, 2008 10:52AM

Developer Jeffrey J. Lauro sought to build up to 1,400 condominiums and single-family homes in Charlotte and Sarasota counties during the real estate boom, as well as an assisted-living center and a Longhorn Steakhouse restaurant. He now faces criminal charges in Charlotte County for allegedly stealing $198,000 through a construction loan scheme. Two of his companies are in bankruptcy and their combined debts could exceed $20 million. One lawsuit by a group of 177 investors from England, Scotland and Ireland alleges Lauro took deposits totaling more than $6 million, but never brought the homes and condos he promised out of the ground.