Palm House Hotel developer will use taxpayer money to pay legal bills: report

Robert Matthews is still awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty of defrauding foreign investors

Sep.September 05, 2019 10:15 AM
Robert Matthews and the Palm House Hotel (Credit: NAIOP)

Robert Matthews and the Palm House Hotel (Credit: NAIOP)

The developer of the Palm House Hotel, one of the largest EB-5 frauds in South Florida history, can no longer afford to pay his lawyers.

Robert Matthews will use taxpayer funds to pay his attorneys, as he awaits sentencing after he pleaded guilty in April to defrauding foreign EB-5 investors out of millions of dollars, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden in Bridgeport, Connecticut, approved paying Robert Matthews’ private attorneys with public funds retroactive to April 2018, the Associated Press reported.
Matthews’ bank records showed he had about $2,890 in income from April 1 to June 30, according to a filing in his Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled for Matthews.

Matthews was the developer of the condo-hotel project at 160 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach that began soliciting EB-5 investment in 2012. The development group assured investors that the project would be completed in less than a year and that their money would be protected in an escrow account with a bank. It also claimed that Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Celine Dion would be on the condo-hotel’s advisory board.

In reality, no such advisory board existed and much of the money was instead diverted for the personal use of the Matthewses, according to federal prosecutors. [Daily Business Review] — Keith Larsen

Related Articles

Parkline at MiamiCentral (Credit: Suffolk, iStock)

Suffolk fights back against developer over MiamiCentral delays

320 Island Road (Credit: Zillow)

Heir to coal fortune lists Palm Beach estate for $38M

Jared Galbut and Keith Menin are majority owners of Bodega Taqueria y Tequila  

Holy guacamole: Jared Galbut and Keith Menin sued over South Beach taco bar and nearby pizzeria

5900 W. Glades Road and Simon Property Group CEO David Simon (Credit: Google Maps)

Simon Property sues Seritage over Boca Raton Sears

225 Seabreeze Avenue (Realtor)

Insurance mogul sells Palm Beach estate for $8M

One Ocean

Allegations of shoddy construction pile up at Related’s One Ocean

Daily Digest Miami

The Fed lowered rates and real estate is loving it, JPMorgan dives into Miami affordable housing: Daily digest

Edgardo Defortuna, Ritz-Carlton Residences Sunny Isles Beach

Ritz-Carlton Residences Sunny Isles developers face second lawsuit from Tropicana