February 24, 2024

Miami city attorney Victoria Mendez, husband sued for alleged real estate fraud

Miami city attorney Victoria Mendez, husband sued for alleged real estate fraud

A former Miami−Dade County resident filed a lawsuit Wednesday in opposition to the Miami city lawyer, her spouse and his real estate business, accusing them of making use of their ties to the city to make a significant revenue on a household they acquired from him at “underneath market worth.”

In the lawsuit, Jose Alvarez alleges he was pressured to sell his family members property “underneath wrong pretenses” when he sought the enable of Miami Town Legal professional Victoria Mendez to offer with creating code violations on the residence and she referred him to her husband, Carlos Morales, who owns Convey Properties, a genuine estate firm.

Morales encouraged Alvarez that the constructing code violations ended up so superior — a lot more than $271,000 — that he must provide the house to his agency for $205,000. Right after buying the assets in 2017, Morales made renovations to the residence and received the city’s code enforcement board to waive the violation fines and get rid of the lien. Morales offered the assets in August of 2018 for $165,000 much more than what he originally paid out Alvarez for the property, the lawsuit contends.

Alvarez, in his lawsuit, explained the city lawyer took advantage of his susceptible placement to acquire his family members household to enrich herself and her husband’s company, and made use of authorities ability to selectively enforce the metropolis setting up code. He explained the spouse and children experienced owned the household for a lot more than 50 a long time, and experienced wished to maintain it.

“This is not the end result I desired for the property. I wanted to keep the home in just the family members,” Alvarez explained in the course of a push conference Wednesday at the workplaces of his legal professional. He is currently being represented by the AXS legislation business. Alvarez now life in The Villages, Florida.

Reached by WLRN through textual content, Mendez declined to remark on the unique allegations lifted in the Alvarez lawsuit. Morales did not respond to a WLRN request for remark.

In the complaint, Alvarez reported Mendez proposed he get in contact with her partner due to the fact his corporation, Express Houses, was experienced in buying properties that experienced code violations.

“He provided to acquire the household, because he states that the violations ended up increasing mainly because it was $500 a working day. I couldn’t afford that,” Alvarez instructed WLRN. “So I had no other alternate but to sell the dwelling.”

The lawsuit contends that Morales remodeled the residence more than numerous months with tailor made cupboards, appliances and new rest room tiles and fixtures, according to pictures of the house on a real estate listing from June 10, 2018. Alvarez alleges he did the get the job done devoid of getting metropolis permits.

“This is not the outcome I needed for the property. I desired to keep the dwelling inside the family.”

Jose Alvarez

In accordance to Metropolis of Miami building records, the only permits taken out for perform on the property in 2018 have been for new doorways and windows. No permits appear for the remodeling Morales purportedly did on the residence marketed on the listing.

A thirty day period immediately after submitting the listing, Morales contacted an assistant city legal professional who was supervised by Mendez, and asked for enable promptly having himself prior to the Miami Code Enforcement Board to attraction the fines and penalties on the Alvarez property. The rationale, Morales wrote, was that he was shortly preparing to provide the residence.

The agenda for the approaching conference had already been posted, but Morales’ e-mail request was granted just 6 times in advance of the scheduled code enforcement board conference. Morales experienced also sent his request to Metropolis of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, though the property was in District 1, which is represented by Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

At the July 25, 2018, Code Enforcement Board conference, the board decreased the $271,250 in fines on the assets to zero.

“Someone reported we had the Santa Claus match on. So, I will keep it in on your motion for $,” a board member said for the duration of the meeting, according to a transcript incorporated in Alvarez’s lawsuit.

A thirty day period later, Morales offered the home for $370,000 on Aug. 20, 2018 — $165,000 a lot more than what he originally paid out Alvarez.

The lawsuit accuses Mendez, Morales, and Express Households of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Tactics Act. Morales and his company especially are accused of “fraudulent inducement,” for the reason that Morales allegedly manufactured false statements, telling Alvarez it would be tough and costly to remove the fines on the home. All defendants, which include the City of Miami, are accused of Civil Conspiracy as part of the alleged code enforcement plan.

Alvarez is trying to get a jury demo in Miami-Dade County circuit courtroom.