Updated, 9:32 a.m., Sept. 21: Mexican first lady Angelica Rivera may be tied to another scandal involving real estate, this time in South Florida.
Rivera has been living in a luxury Key Biscayne condo owned by Grupo Pierdant, a government contractor in Mexico, according to an investigation from the Guardian.
Grupo Pierdant’s Biscayne Ocean Holdings paid $2.05 million for unit 404 at Ocean Tower One in 2010, property records show. Rivera, also a former telenovela star, owns unit 304, and according to the Guardian, uses both units as one. She paid $1.775 million for her unit in 2005.
Grupo Pierdant’s holding company has also been paying the taxes for Rivera’s unit at the Key Biscayne complex, a tax bill that came out to $29,703 in 2014. Ocean Tower One’s amenities include a pool, tennis courts and concierge services.
In the U.S., Pierdant is known for DecoBikes, a bike sharing company in Miami and San Diego that he co-founded.
Rivera and her husband, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have been involved in similar allegations in their home country. In recent years, Rivera bought the $7 million Casa Blanca estate from another government contractor, Grupo Higa. Although she said she bought the lavish white mansion with her own money, Rivera later returned the property and the president made a public apology. (Grupo Higa, tied to a Chinese consortium, won a $3.7 billion contract to build a high-speed rail link for the Mexican government.)
Earlier this year, the Panama Papers investigation shed light on Miami’s luxury condo boom. The massive data leak from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca identified the true owners behind shell companies buying real estate in South Florida, among other places.
Published reports also showed evidence of the top aide to Argentina’s former president Nestor Kirchner being investigated after spending close to $65 million on real estate, much of it in South Florida. [The Guardian] – Katherine Kallergis
Note: The Guardian has removed the article from its website and added a correction, saying that Ricardo Pierdant’s companies have not “obtained any contracts with the Mexican government nor have they participated in any such contracting processes.”