Attorney sentenced for fraudulent role in condominium sales at Vero Beach project

A judge sentenced Vero Beach attorney Eric B. Granitur to a little more than a year in prison for lying to a bank about developer-assisted condo sales

Miami /
Sep.September 01, 2018 01:40 PM

Eric Granitur (Credit: Daily Business Review)

A federal judge sentenced a real estate attorney to slightly more than a year in prison for his role in a fraudulent scheme involving pre-construction condo sales in Vero Beach.

U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg sentenced Eric B. Granitur to slightly more than a year in prison plus five years of supervised release for helping a developer fraudulently obtain a construction loan to build the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa condominiums.

In June, a federal jury found Granitur guilty on two counts of making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution and one count of conspiring to do so.

Judge Rosenberg sentenced one of Granitur’s co-conspirators, George Heaton, to a shorter prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to the charges against him. The judge sentenced Heaton to six months in prison, three years of supervised release and a forfeiture of about $236,000.

Heaton, the developer of the Vero Beach Hotel &  Spa condominiums, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements to a federally insured bank. Heaton had faced eight counts of bank fraud and up to 30 years in prison before he reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to one count.

Heaton admitted that he secretly helped a buyer  to purchase condo units at his Vero Beach Hotel & Spa because he needed to sell a certain number of units to get a $23 million construction loan to build the development. He lied to Orion Bank, now known as Iberiabank, about the pre-construction condo sales from 2006 to 2009.

Granitur, doing business as Live Oak Title, oversaw the closing of two condos at the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa to Stephen McKenzie, to whom Heaton provided financial help to complete the purchases. McKenzie pleaded guilty to his role in the fraudulent scheme and got a four-month prison sentence and supervised release.

Granitur got a “greatly reduced sentence from that sought by the government,” according to a statement to the Daily Business Review from his  attorney, Benedict P. Kuehne. “He would never have been involved in the closings if he had known they were part of a fraud of which he was unaware.” [Daily Business Review]Mike Seemuth

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
A photo illustration of the letter unit owners of Champlain Towers South in Surfside sent to the court (Getty Images, iStock)
Surfside collapse unit owners ask court to up their $83M payout
Surfside collapse unit owners ask court to up their $83M payout
Hassan Whiteside and 528 Lakeview Court in Miami Beach (Getty, Joe Azar/Compass)
NBA’s Hassan Whiteside lists Miami home for $23M, triple what he paid for it
NBA’s Hassan Whiteside lists Miami home for $23M, triple what he paid for it
Donald Trump and Grant Cardone (Cardone Enterprises)
Presidential surprise: Donald Trump kicks-off Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference
Presidential surprise: Donald Trump kicks-off Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference
(ONE Sotheby's Realty)
Former mayor George “Bud” Scholl’s waterfront home hits market for $13.9M
Former mayor George “Bud” Scholl’s waterfront home hits market for $13.9M
Home prices notched record-shattering growth in 2021, but slowdown is likely
Home prices notched record-shattering growth in 2021, but slowdown is likely
Home prices notched record-shattering growth in 2021, but slowdown is likely
6315 11th Ave Gulfport (iStock, Heckler Realty Group, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)
Tampa-area home billed as first in US to be sold as an NFT
Tampa-area home billed as first in US to be sold as an NFT
From left: 1840 South Ocean Boulevard, 1341 South Ocean Boulevard and 2000 South Ocean Boulevard
These were South Florida’s largest resi sales of 2021
These were South Florida’s largest resi sales of 2021
Miami-Dade County slapped with ethics complaint over approval of 550-home Calusa project
Miami-Dade County slapped with ethics complaint over approval of 550-home Calusa project
Miami-Dade County slapped with ethics complaint over approval of 550-home Calusa project
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...