The Real Deal Miami

Charges against Raul Masvidal tossed

Miami developer was accused of theft, fraud for watermelon statue purchase
May 27, 2014 12:00PM

Raul Masvidal

Raul Masvidal

Raul Masvidal is finally off the hook for fraud and theft charges that were filed against the Miami developer in 2007.

A Miami-Dade County judge tossed the charges on Friday. Masvidal, 72, was accused of using $150,000 in public funds to purchase a giant watermelon statue for himself. A civil lawsuit between Masvidal and the county is still pending.

Masvidal’s Hometown Station was contracted by the county to construct a $25 million office building for its housing agency in South Miami. The county contributed $5 million for the publicly funded project, according to the Miami Herald. Hometown Station was unable to complete the building before the county scrapped the project.

The statue controversy was exposed in the Herald’s 2006 “House of Lies” series, which detailed corruption within the county’s housing agency. [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis