Would-be Royal Palm developer pleads guilty to bank fraud in Georgia

Georgia's failed Integrity Bank
Georgia's failed Integrity Bank

A player in South Florida’s last real estate boom pleaded guilty this week to conspiring to commit bank fraud in Georgia, the Miami Herald reported.

Guy Mitchell, the main backer of a failed bid to convert South Beach’s Royal Palm hotel into a condo-hotel complex, entered a guilty plea related to his alleged siphoning off a Georgia bank that eventually shuttered, the Herald said.

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Mitchell, 53, was Integrity Bank’s biggest customer and prosecutors allege he bribed a loan officer to help him loot about $40 million, which he used to pay for an island home, Miami Heat tickets and private jet travel that he used to court investors and paint himself as a deep-pocketed developer, according to the newspaper.

Mitchell, who is scheduled to be sentenced in October and faces up to five years in prison, helped launch the venture to convert the Royal Palm in 2005 but the collapsed real estate market killed the plan. [Miami Herald] —Emily Schmall