The Real Deal Miami

Transit Village developer admits to taking kickbacks

Michael Masanoff told a jury he played both sides of a deal
From left: Boca Raton mayor Steven Abrams and Michael Masanoff

Michael Masanoff (far right) with Palm Beach County politicians

The former chairman that oversaw Tri-Rail and a $300 million, six-acre downtown development admitted under oath to accepting $100,000 in kickbacks.

On Wednesday, attorney Michael Masanoff told a jury he played both sides of the real estate deal by helping developers Edward and Arthur Falcone purchase an 18-acre cemetery in Boca Raton from two widows he previously represented, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The Falcones paid $6.1 million for Heritage Manor Memorial Park — renamed The Gardens Memorial Park. But attorneys claim the cemetery land was worth as much as $40 million.

“Did you breach your fiduciary obligation?” attorney Michael Avenatti asked Masanoff. “Yes,” Masanoff answered. [PBP] – Christopher Cameron