Seven Defendants Sentenced Federally for Their Role in a $36 Million Fraud Scheme Involving Low-Income Housing Developments
Between November 30 and December 7, 2016, seven defendants were sentenced for their role in a scheme to steal $36 million of federal funds intended for low-income housing.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Nadine Gurley, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG), and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.
Seven defendants previously pled guilty for their involvement in a $36 million housing fraud scheme and were sentenced as follows:
- Lloyd Boggio, 70, of Coconut Grove, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $7.1 million to the United States.
- Matthew Greer, 38, of Miami Beach, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $16 million to the United States.
- Gonzalo DeRamon, of Coral Gables, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $4.4 million to the United States.
- Michael Cox, 48, of Miami, was sentenced to six months’ home confinement and ordered to forfeit approximately $4.4 million to the United States.
- Michael Runyan, 67, of Lighthouse Point, was sentenced to six months’ home confinement and ordered to forfeit approximately $1.1 million to the United States.
- Rene Sierra, 58 of Southwest Ranches, was sentenced to six months’ home confinement and ordered to forfeit approximately $1.2 million to the United States.
- Arturo Hevia, 64, of Miramar, was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to forfeit approximately $20,000 to the United States.
According to court documents, including the factual proffers in support of the defendants’ guilty pleas, Matthew Greer and Lloyd Boggio served, at alternating times, as CEO of Carlisle Development Group (CDG), a low-income housing developer in Miami, Florida. CDG applied for federal tax credits and federal grant monies to build low-income housing developments through a program administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC). To obtain these federal funds, FHFC required developers to submit proposed development costs, including a construction contract signed by the developer and contractor.
The court records further indicate that Greer and Boggio conspired with contractor Michael Runyan to unjustly enrich themselves by submitting fraudulently inflated low-income housing construction contracts to FHFC’s representatives to obtain excess federal tax credits and grant monies to which they were not entitled, and then to use the proceeds for their personal use and benefit. From 2006 to 2012, Greer, Boggio, and Runyan caused the submission of fraudulently inflated construction contracts on at least eight different low-income housing developments, which resulted in the allocation of at least $26 million in excess federal tax credits and grant monies. Similarly, during the course of the scheme, the conspirators made kickback payments for the benefit of Greer and others totaling at least $26 million.
According to court documents, Gonzalo DeRamon and Michael Cox of Biscayne Housing Group (“BHG”) employed the same contract inflation scheme of submitting fraudulently inflated contracts to FHFC for the receipt of excess federal tax credits and grant monies. CDG and BHG had a joint venture for two developments. From 2009 to 2012, Cox and DeRamon conspired with contractors Rene Sierra and Arturo Hevia to unjustly enrich themselves by submitting fraudulently inflated construction contracts to FHFC’s representatives to receive excess tax credits and grants. As a result of the fraudulent inflation scheme, there were more than $6.2 million in kickbacks from Sierra for the benefit of DeRamon, Cox, Greer, and Boggio; and more than $1 million in kickbacks from Hevia for the benefit of DeRamon and Cox.
During the course of this investigation, through seizure warrants and voluntary payments by the defendants, the United States has collected over $22 million in proceeds connected to the thefts of government funds.
Mr. Ferrer thanked the FBI, HUD-OIG, and IRS-CI for their work on this case. This and all related cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael R. Sherwin, Michael N. Berger, Karen Rochlin, Evelyn Sheehan, and Eloisa Fernandez.