HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The state is investigating one of its own now-former regulators after accusations that he abused his power at a condominium he was assigned to investigate, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation confirms.
Eduardo Iglesias duped residents into hiring not only his own association management company, but also his wife as the condo's attorney after he'd been called by the state to investigate a complaint at El Dorado Plaza West in Hallandale Beach, numerous unit owners and an active lawsuit allege.
"I confronted him one day and I told him you don't really belong here," said 88-year-old Jim Silverman, adding, "All he wanted to do was get our money."
Iglesias was first assigned last year to investigate alleged wrongdoing at El Dorado Plaza West in May 2017, according to DBPR records, but a lawsuit filed by unit owner Robert Petrasek alleges he instead "hijacked" the community association, beginning with an alleged recommendation to the condo board that it hire Anatalia Sanchez as its attorney, which it did. What residents and the lawsuit allege they didn't know at the time was that Sanchez was the wife of Iglesias.
Sanchez, who did not respond to a message for comment for this story, then cut a deal condo to to provide legal services for the condo beginning on Sept. 30, 2017. The deal called for her law firm to be paid $2,800 a month, not only for legal services, but also for "outsourced" management services. A request that the investigation be terminated was received by the state on Oct. 5, according to state records, but Iglesias’ involvement with the condo was apparently just beginning.
On Oct. 18, the condo board approved the new management company, Real Asset Management, owned by one Edy Quin. Residents said they didn't know that Quin, licensed community manager, and Iglesias, state condo regulator, were one and the same person: Eduardo Quin Iglesias.
From the lawsuit, which names both Iglesias and Sanchez as defendants, filed by Miami attorney Robert Cooke:
"What was discovered shocked plaintiff and all others similarly situated who assisted in the investigation. The DBPR investigator Eduardo Quin Iglesias was in fact Edy Quin, the new property manager hired by defendant Sanchez. Furthermore, unknown, and undisclosed to plaintiff and all others similarly situationed (sic), [Sanchez and Iglesias] were husband and wife."
When asked about the hiring of his wife, Iglesias said, "Ask her, sir."
As for his alleged use of two names, he said it's a common practice and the allegation that he used them deceptively is false.
"Two last names, my friend," he said. "That's traditional, part of my culture."
DBPR records show the agency was notified that its examiner was allegedly serving as an association manager in a letter from attorney Eric Glazer, who has represented residents at the condo, on Dec. 13.
Iglesias resigned his state position in early January, citing financial reasons. Iglesias insists he only worked for the condo after he resigned and signed a management contract with the board on Jan. 13.
"I was not employed by the DBPR while working for the association," he said.
Yet El Dorado Plaza West approved his management company on Oct. 18, while he was still working for the state, and he described himself as manager of the condo in an email addressed to several residents on Oct. 30.
"If we have evidence that shows you were paid while you were still with DBPR, is there a problem with that?" Local 10 News investigative reporter Bob Norman asked.
"Could there be a problem with that? Yes, there could be a problem with that," Quin answered.
In addition to money paid to his wife under a contract that purportedly included management fees,
Local 10 obtained a $500 check made out directly to Edy Quin from an El Dorado Plaza West bank account in November, while he was still employed with the state. He claimed he used that money to pay for common expenses at the condo and that he never served as manager prior to leaving the state.
Numerous residents complained about Iglesias, and not only for what they allege was his conflict of interest. Iglesias, who says he has completed law school but does not have a law license, is currently suing three residents for defamation, claiming, among other things, that they attacked "Mr. Quin's good reputation as a professional financial investigator and a professional association manager with the intent to damage and injure Mr. Quin's good professional reputation."
When asked if it the lawsuit is designed to silence his detractors, Iglesias said, "I have a right not have (to) have my name muddied and sullied by people."
Daniel Perez, the new manager of the condo, said El Dorado Plaza West was left in dire financial straits and said that Iglesias still hasn't turned over many records related to his time in charge, something Iglesias disputes.
Many residents said they just hope the DBPR -- which confirmed it has not one but two active investigations involving Iglesias -- gets to the bottom of the conflict.
In a written statement emailed to Local 10, the agency was vague: "DBPR employees are required to comply with the Department's conflict of interest policy, which mandates the ongoing duty to immediately disclose licensure, employment and additional information that may result in a finding of conflict. While the Department is unable to comment on the specifics of employee separations, we can confirm that Mr. Iglesias' resignation was accepted on Jan. 12, 2018. The Department will continue to monitor and evaluate its employees' conduct to prevent impropriety and maintain the public's trust."