Rafael A. Olvera Amezcua, the Mexican banker who allegedly led a massive fraud ring in his home country, is being tied to 17 properties in South Florida that were purchased for a combined $13.44 million.
And now they could be seized by the government.
Amezcua was the majority shareholder of Ficrea SA, a financial firm that was seized about two years ago by Mexican regulators. Amezcua was accused of siphoning more than $184 million from Ficrea for his personal use, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
Mexican regulators have been investigating the scheme, and last year the government requested he be extradited to Mexico.
Legal action filed in South Florida shows Amezcua is tied to at least 17 properties purchased between 2008 and 2014, properties that could be seized in the bankruptcy case, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
Those properties include: a three-bedroom condo at 2950 Northeast 188th Street in Aventura, which is on the market for $705,000; another unit in the same building also on the market for $320,000; condos in Miramar, Sunny Isles Beach, Oakland Park, Pembroke Pines; as well as commercial properties.
South Florida is no stranger to money laundering, offshore buyers and shady practices. Earlier this year, the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm, uncovered many of the true buyers behind pricey South Florida real estate.
Even the federal government is making moves to combat money laundering through high-end real estate in the U.S., by enacting and then expanding a targeting order for title insurers. The treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is requiring title companies to reveal the true players behind shell companies in regions that include Manhattan and Miami. [SFBJ] – Katherine Kallergis