Majorcan hotel magnate Luis Riu Guell surrendered on Monday to Miami-Dade police. He faces allegations that he gave free and luxury resort stays to Miami Beach’s top building official in exchange for help with the company’s large-scale renovation of its South Beach hotel, the online version of the Miami Herald reported.
According to the newspaper, Riu - chairman of the family-operated Riu Hotels and Resorts chain - flew into the city from Spain and went to a Miami-Dade courtroom where he was processed. The newspaper said he was allowed to post a US$20,000 bond and was subsequently released. “His travel is extensive. He’s constantly on the road,” the Miami Herald reported Riu’s defence attorney Barry Wax as telling Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto.
The Miami Herald report said that last week prosecutors charged Miami Beach’s former building official, Mariano Fernàndez, as well as Riu; the company’s regional vice-president, Alejandro Sanchez del Arco; and Riu Hotels and Resorts’ Florida subsidiary. “They are all charged with unlawful compensation and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation,” the newspaper reported, adding that Sanchez also surrendered yesterday.
“We are confident that our clients have committed no crime whatsoever,” the newspaper reported Wax as telling reporters. According to the Miami Herald, the “charges stem from the renovation of the Riu Plaza Hotel, 3101 Collins Ave. “The Miami Beach building department was in charge of permitting and inspections on the massive overhaul that took place between October 2013 and June 2016”.
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