by Javier Manjarres
It was only a matter of time before the political dirt started to surface in the Miami-Dade Mayor’s race between Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, and Former State Legislator Marcelo Llorente. Back in 1994, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and his old real Estate company Univest Realty & Managment, Inc., were served with an Administrative Complaint from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate alleging 10 separate counts including fraud and other improprieties.
In the first count of the 10 charges filed against him, Julio A. Robaina was found guilty of “dishonest dealing by trick, scheme, or device, culpable negligence, or breach of trust” in any business transaction, a violation of Florida Statute 475.25(1) (b).
This count is based on a forged check deposited by Mr. Robaina back in late 1993. The complaint states that Robaina, without the knowledge or consent of the owner of a property he was hired to manage, endorsed the owner’s name to an insurance check dated on October 15, 1992 in the amount of $10267.88 and deposited it into his companies escrow account. When the owner learned of this forged check deposit, he fired Robaina and demanded the funds be transfered to the new property manager, including interest and legal fees. Robaina obliged and refunded the $10267.88 our the 10th of December 1992. The check in question was for an insurance claim paid out to the owner of the property for damages the property sustained from Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Robaina and Univest were later served with a subpoena to produce the escrow and property management records. In counts 7 and 8 of the complaint, Robaina and Univest were charged with failing to comply with a subpoena- apparently he attempted to address the subpoena by supplying ‘fragmented’ statements and cancelled checks. However, in doing so, failed to produce all the records that the subpoena requested.
The punishment levied on Robaina and his company for violation of Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes was a settlement where Robaina did not admit or deny the allegations made in the complaint about him or his company- in essence, Mr. Robaina plead ‘no-contest’ in this matter. The official punishment, as published reads:
Hialeah: Julio A. Robaina; Broker: Reprimanded, fined $2000, required to take a 30 hr pre-licensure bk. mgmt. course with 1 year.
Robaina’s company, Univest Realty & Mgmt. Inc., was reprimanded for failing to properly account or deliver trust funds in a timely fashion; maintain trust funds in an escrow account; failed to fully comply with subpoena; failed to properly preserve records for 5 years.