Mexico’s Veracruz sues for $25M and control over ex-governor’s alleged holdings in South Florida

Lawsuit alleges 3 US companies helped corrupt governor buy millions of dollars of properties

Javier Duarte in front of the house at 277 Marinero Court in Coral Gables
Javier Duarte in front of the house at 277 Marinero Court in Coral Gables

The Mexican state of Veracruz is suing three real estate investment firms and their leaders for allegedly conspiring with the state’s former governor to purchase 41 properties in Miami-Dade County with millions of dollars of allegedly stolen government funds.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, attempts to gain control of the properties, which it claims were purchased with money that Javier Duarte De Ochoa stole during the course of his tenure as governor of Veracruz from 2010 to 2016. Police nabbed Duarte last year in neighboring Guatemala after six months on the lam and extradited him to Veracruz to stand trial on corruption charges.

Veracruz state seeks a minimum of $25 million worth of compensatory damages and additional punitive damages.

The suit names Miami-based Vulcan Dynamic Realty Fund and its CEO Inaki Negrete, Miami-based Nexxos Realty and its managing member Ana Maria Velasquez, and Delaware-based ACE Realty Holdings as defendants.

Neither ACE Realty Holdings, Vulcan Dynamic Realty Fund nor Inaki Negrete could be reached for comment. Negrete is listed as an officer in five other companies, according to Florida state records. Velasquez said she had “no relationship” with the other parties in the lawsuit and no knowledge of the suit. Nexxos lists 17 agents on its website.

The properties are mostly single-family homes spread throughout Miami-Dade, from Aventura to Florida City. All but one house, at 277 Marinero Court in Coral Cables, is owned by Vulcan Dynamic Realty Fund, an active fund founded by Vulcan Investment Partners in 2012, “dedicated to purchasing and renovating distressed properties at 50 percent of their original construction cost,” according to a press release. The Marinero Court home is the most costly of the properties, which ACE Realty purchased for $7.7 million in 2014.

Vulcan Investment Partners was founded by “a group of leading Mexican businessmen and financial experts” and planned to invest $150 million through the fund to purchase 1,200 such properties, according to the release. At the time, the firm planned to liquidate the fund for huge gains last year. The suit does not say when all the purchases related to the alleged theft of government funds were made.

Here are the properties, according to the suit:

277 Marinero Court, Coral Gables

10550 Northeast Second Place, Miami Shores

10770 Northwest 66th Street #511, Doral

10800 Northwest 82nd Terrace, UNIT 10-6, Doral

1201 North Liberty Avenue, unit 1201G, Homestead

12170 Southwest 216th Street, Miami

12225 North Miami Avenue, Miami

13606 Northwest 10th Terrace, Miami

1490 Northwest 58th Terrace, Miami

15120 Jackson Street, Miami

17800 Southwest 113th Court, Miami

19600 Northeast 18th Place, Miami

2012 San Remo Circle, Homestead

20200 Northeast 14th Avenue, Miami

20901 Southwest 121st Avenue, Miami

21034 Northeast 34th Court, Aventura

21725 Southwest 120th Avenue, Miami

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220 Northeast 45th Street, Miami

2330 Northwest 11th Street, unit 27, Miami

2353 Southeast 12th Court, unit 224, Homestead

24987 Southwest 128th Court, Miami

25000 Southwest 122nd Court, Miami

26650 Southwest 132nd Avenue, Miami

2710 West 60th Place, unit 106, Hialeah

2811 Northwest 100th Street, Miami

2895 Northwest 45th Street, Miami

3039 Northwest 54th Street, Miami

3122 Northwest 43rd Street, Miami

368 Northeast 174th Street, North Miami Beach

390 Northeast 163rd Street, Miami

433 Northwest 14th Street, Florida City

4850 Northwest 102nd Avenue, unit 104-9, Doral

487 Northwest 15th Street, Florida City

520 Northwest 3rd Avenue, Homestead

5775 Southwest 35th Street, Miami

5852 Southwest 33rd Street, Miami

864 Southwest 7th Plaza, Florida City

875 Southwest First Street, Florida City

9855 Marlin Road, Cutler Bay

20100 Highland Lakes Boulevard, Miami

20200 Northeast 14th Avenue, Miami

Laura Hanrahan contributed reporting