Will former mayor be indicted?
Sources say Julio Robaina under federal investigation
A federal investigation of former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina has finally wound down, according to sources. The question: Will the feds charge Robaina or not?
Federal agencies have been investigating Robaina -- who ran against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in 2011 -- on allegations of tax evasion and loan sharking for more than three years.
"Do you expect an indictment in this case?" asked Local 10's Bob Norman.
"I would anticipate it," said defense attorney Alvin Entin. "I don’t think the government works as long and as hard as they have on a case … to watch it go away. That would be very uncharacteristic."
Entin represents Luis Felipe Perez, a former Robaina friend who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for fraud.
"They socialized in Hialeah political circles," said Entin. "Luis contributed lots of (political) money, raised lots of money, and ultimately Robaina invested a lot of money (with Perez)."
Entin and other sources say Robaina invested six figures into the scheme, which involved bogus investments into a jewelry business run by Perez. Robaina was paid a usurious 36 percent interest rate and was apparently hiding some of the money from the government, said Entin.
"The investment was being paid back based on 36 percent interest of which my client was paying him approximately 18 percent and the other 18 percent by cash," said Entin.
Robaina offered no comment to Local 10 on Thursday, hanging up the phone after being asked about the investigation. He has previously said he was the victim of a Ponzi scheme.
"I believe he was a net winner," said Entin.