Former Hialeah mayor, wife found not guilty

Julio Robaina acquitted of all charges in tax fraud trial

MIAMI - Former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and his wife have been acquitted of all charges after a federal trial on accusations they filed false tax returns and lied to federal agents.

Jurors reached the not guilty verdicts Tuesday for Julio and Raiza Robaina after about six hours of deliberations.

Prosecutors claimed they failed to report about $2 million in income between 2005 and 2010. Some was cash payments on high-interest personal loans they made to friends and associates, including a convicted Ponzi schemer.

Testifying for the couple, Raiza Robaina blamed many of the problems on mistakes made by the couple's accountant. She insisted they did not submit false tax returns or lie to investigators.

Julio Robaina said from the beginning that his name would be vindicated.

"I told all of you from the beginning that we were going to vindicate our name, that the truth is the truth, and as the days go forward, we'll expand on that," the former mayor told members of the media gathered outside the courthouse.

Julio Robaina was Hialeah's mayor from 2005 to 2011 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Miami-Dade County.

He said they can return home in peace and tranquility "to continue what we always set out to do -- and that is to be workers, helpers, human beings of this community."

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