Former Chairman of Riviera Beach Housing Authority Sentenced to Federal Prison for Soliciting Kickback
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
MIAMI – Delvin Thomas, 44, of West Palm Beach, Florida, the former chairman of the Riviera Beach Housing Authority, has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in December 2022 to one count of extortion under color of official right. Thomas also must forfeit $9,400.
In 2019, Thomas was the chairman of the Riviera Beach Housing Authority. In about April 2019, the Riviera Beach Housing Authority was looking to purchase a parcel of real estate located in Riviera Beach for future use as low-income rental property. Thomas introduced a real estate broker to the person at the Riviera Beach Housing Authority responsible for purchasing the property. The broker would serve as the buyer’s agent for the real estate transaction.
The Riviera Beach Housing Authority contracted to purchase the property, with the buyer’s agent set to receive a 3% commission on the price. After the contract was entered into, Thomas informed the buyer’s agent that he (Thomas) was to receive 50% of the commission.
At the real estate closing, the buyer’s agent’s company was paid a commission of $18,930, and Thomas reminded the agent about Thomas’s 50% cut ($9,400). To hide the unlawful payment, Thomas contacted a third party who agreed to help.
That third party deposited two checks issued to the third party’s business bank account -- one for $6,400, the other for $3,000. The checks falsely stated in their memo sections that the payments were for “Company Branding” and “Marketing Services.” Then, the third party issued two checks from that account to the account of Sire Development Group, LLC -- a company owned by Thomas. Those checks falsely stated in their memo sections that the payments were for “Consulting Services.”
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI, Miami Field Office, announced the sentence imposed in West Palm Beach federal court by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Mara.
FBI Miami investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan prosecuted it.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
Updated April 25, 2023