Grand jury investigation adds to Bal Harbour hotel developer’s woes

Developer sold the Bal Harbour Quarzo to a company tied to Walter Defortuna

Quarzo Bal Harbour
Quarzo Bal Harbour

A Bal Harbour hotel developer wrapped up in multiple lawsuits alleging fraud has just revealed he is under investigation by a federal grand jury.

Bal Harbour Quarzo LLC is facing 19 lawsuits in Miami-Dade, alleging the company failed to pay back loans for a hotel redevelopment planned for the 2.38-acre site at 10250 Collins Avenue. Because the loans were executed in foreign countries and didn’t have mortgages filed in Miami-Dade, the LLC was able to sell the hotel in July for $18 million. The buyer was Beach Haus Bal Harbour LLC, a company managed by Fortune International Realty developer Walter Defortuna.

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Bal Harbour Quarzo LLC, led by principals Juan Arcila and Carlos Mehecha, paid $15.8 million in 2007 for the trio of three-story, mid-rise towers that were converted into the 91-unit Bal Harbour Quarzo.

Some of the lawsuits allege that the Quarzo LLC used other entities hired to manage the hotel to siphon cash, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Now, Arcila, former co-owner of the hotel, told the court he had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury and as a result, he can’t provide the requested financial records. He is also requesting a judge stay a case in another lawsuit. [SFBJ] – Katherine Kallergis