Robaina's bank is apparently $1.7 million in the hole on personal high interest loans made in the past few years, some of which may be part of a federal investigation into usury and shadow banking in Hialeah, discovered when a ponzi schemer was arrested last year and allegedly flipped on Robaina and his partners, the Blancos, for a lighter sentence.
In fact, $850,000 of that outstanding money is in four loans to Luis Felipe Perez, known as Felipito, the ponzi schemer/jeweler and one-time member of the Hialeah Chamber of Commerce. Robaina has said he and his family fell victim to Perez's scheme and filed four lawsuits against him in December (as sentencing drew near). Maybe that is why he charged him 18 percent interest. Payback is another five letter word for Ladra. Another $800,000 is claimed in three 2010 lawsuits against Rodolfo Blanco and his sister-in-law and nephew Mercedes and Robertico Blanco, who is also being looked at by federal authorities. He was charging them 18 percent, too. There is also a $55,000 claim against Jose and Juana Sigler, who have ties to maquinita permits in Hialeah, and former councilman Guillermo Zuñiga (who was once an assistant to the mayor but was fired and has sued Robaina and the city for wrongful termination), for an outstanding $28,000 mortgage from his former boss. But he is only paying 10 % interest. A sign of friendlier times?
This list of nine 2010 lawsuits filed by Robaina or companies owned by his wife, Raiza Villacis-Robaina (MR Holdings and RVR Holdings), show a total of $1,735,277 and comes to us courtesy of one mad-as-hell firefighter who has made it his mission to burn down Robaina's political aspirations. Fire Local 1102 Vice President Eric Johnson, whose professional and personal beef with Robaina is publicly documented on facebook and in every website that writes about the race, took the time to go to the courthouse this early Friday morning and make copies of these files. Bless him. And if that makes him my "handler" as one jealous wannabe hater has suggested, so be it. I am not exactly easy to handle and you have to be ready to get your hands burned if you play with fire, but I am an equal opportunity handlee.
Besides, they can be found online at http://www2.miami-dadeclerk.com/civil/
Robaina supporters may say that this is just evidence that he is a businessman, Ladra says that, at the very least, it is evidence -- as are the foreclosures he and his partners have had in the past couple of years -- that he is a bad businessman.
Not someone to trust with a $7 billion bank.