Miami real estate agent arrested on charges he ran brothels, laundered funds
The agent faces dozens of felony charges
UPDATED, May 23, 9:50 p.m.: A Miami-Dade County real estate agent was arrested on charges tied to allegedly running two prostitution sites, including one with a spa business as a front next to a childcare center.
Almicar Jose Leon, 42, faces dozens of felony charges for deriving financial support from prostitution and a felony charge of money laundering, the Miami Herald reported.
Leon, who has an active real estate license in Florida, lists himself as a sales associate with Avanti Way Realty in Miami-Dade on his Facebook page. He was arrested on Thursday and is scheduled for a hearing on Friday afternoon.
An arrest report says Leon ran one of the brothels out of a luxury Doral condominium complex and the purported spa at 13155 Southwest 134th Street in West Kendall, according to the Herald. He allegedly recruited women through classified advertisement website Craigslist and used social media to attract patrons.
His attorney, Austin Krtausch, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Avanti Way Realty said it has terminated Leon.
“Avanti Way Realty takes these matters very seriously and does not condone any type of illegal or unethical behavior,” Avanti said in a statement. “Our 1,000-plus agents work as independent contractors with licenses vetted by the state.”
Leon is the latest real estate agent to be arrested in recent years, although the others faced different charges. At last year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, former Douglas Elliman agent Cheyenne Lutek of New York was booked on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.
[Miami Herald] – Lidia Dinkova
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a fourth broker as being arrested.