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August 11, 2011 - Antonio Gonzalez

Money Laundering Tied to 13 Waterfront Condos

South Florida Business Journal Date: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 2:20pm EDT

The U.S. Attorney’s Office wants to seize 13 waterfront condos in Miami and Miami Beach, and a townhouse in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood tied to the indictment of five men, the bulk of whom are accused of laundering $26 million in drug proceeds.

The government is targeting for seizure two Miami Beach condos – one unit in the Continuum On South Beach and the other Murano at Portofino – in the exclusive South of Fifth neighborhood at the tip of the barrier island, according to Condo Vultures, which reviewed the indictment.

An additional 11 condos earmarked for federal seizure are located in two complexes – One Miami and The Mark on Brickell – in Miami, according to the indictment.

The government is also pursuing for seizure a townhouse on South Bayshore Drive, across from David Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove, according to the indictment.

“Upon conviction … as alleged in Count 1 of this indictment, the defendant so convicted shall forfeit all of his right, title and interest to the United States, in any property, real or personal, involved in such violation, or in any property traceable to such property,” according to the indictment.

The Business Journal reported on the grand jury indictment, dated July 12, in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida.

The condo units and townhome identified in the indictment, which feature a combined 26 bedrooms and more than 19,200 square feet of salable space, have a combined 2010 assessed value of $5.03 million, or an average $261 a square foot, according to the Condo Vultures data generated from the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Office.

The units were originally purchased for a combined $6.13 million, or an average of $318 a square foot, between October 2001 and April 2006.

The condos, townhouse, and land identified in the indictment were purchased using multiple individual and corporate names, according to government records.

Aside from the properties, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is also attempting to seize 26 accounts maintained at Bank of America, BB&T (formerly known as Colonial Bank, Citibank, Wells Fargo and South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union, according to the indictment.

Additionally, the U.S. attorney is also pursuing the seizure of 17 automobiles. The exotic automobiles include a Bugatti Veyron, a Ferrari Enzo, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57S, a Bentley Continental GT, an Aston Martin DB9, a Lamborghini Murceliago, a Lamborghini Gallardo, an Audi R8, and other Mercedes-Benz and BMW models.

“Approximately $26,443,771 in United States currency, which is a sum of money equal in value to the property involved in the violation alleged in this indictment, which the United States will seek as a personal money judgment…as part of their respective sentence upon conviction,” according to the indictment.

The indictment charged Alvaro Lopez Tardon, of Miami Beach; Fabiani Krentz and David William Pollack, of Miami; and Artemio Lopez Tardon, of Madrid, with a conspiracy to launder more than $26 million in drug proceeds.

Wifredo Ferrer, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Miami field office, also announced that Vincente Orlando Cardelle, of Miami, is charged with bulk cash smuggling.