Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Ponzi jeweler's mom votes Raul & Co
Hialeah hairdresser Aida Perez, whose introduction is always followed by "she's Felipito's mom," doesn't live in the City of Progress. So she can't vote there. But she drove her sister to early voting at the John F. Kennedy library Tuesday and got to spend a little time with former Mayor Raul Martinez and some of his Back to the Future slate (who her sister apparently bubbled for).
Perez, who also drove friends to the early voting site over the weekend, is not like any other voter's sister. She is mother to Luis Felipe Perez, the Hialeah jeweler and convicted ponzi schemer whose ties to former Mayor Julio Robaina and alcaldito Carlos Hernandez have opened a can of shadow banking worms for federal authorities to fish with. And she knew her presence -- a week after his loans to Felipito were made public in The Miami Herald -- was making Hernandez sweat.
So did Martinez and former Mayor Julio "The Replacement" Martinez and former cop and council candidate Danny Bolaños and Fire Union Vice President Eric Johnson, who enjoyed it thoroughly. So did Ladra, in all honesty. Meeting Aida Perez, having her be so open with me and forthcoming, getting her phone number and photos has been the highlight of the early voting Day 4 so far. I must say it even surpassed the "Political Cafecito" stand that former State Sen. Rudy Garcia, also running for mayor, had set up in my honor. (See, alcaldito? He doesn't think I'm working for the other side. You could embrace me, too.)
"El que metio la pata no se llama ni Felipito ni el joyero. Se llama Roberto Blanco," Perez said about the other man implicated in the shadow banking business with Robaina and Hernandez (and to Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz, who also loaned money and notarized many of the transactions). "The one who stuck his foot in his mouth is not named Felipito nor the jewelery. His name is Roberto Blanco."
Perez said her son was doing well, both physically and mentally, because his conscience was clear. "He says he rests well. His soul is clean. He feels fine and can look himself in the mirror," Aida Perez said. "He didn't hurt anyone. He didn't kill anyone. He didn't cheat anyone. He didn't fool anyone. The one who does all that is, look over there," she added, signaling to where Hernandez was. "He simply made money for himself and for other poeple." Last December, Felipito Perez was sentenced to 10 years in prison for securities fraud in connection with a $40 million Ponzi scheme and (concurrently) five years in prison in connection with a $12 million bank fraud scheme. But he also seems to be cooperating with the authorities about su alcaldito's role in the shadow banking business, having provided the Miami Herald with copies of 37 checks written out to Hernandez and his company for $3,000 or $2,400 -- the exact amount of the interest that he was to be charged. Hernandez has flip-flopped on that also, telling journalists at first that all he got was interest and that he was not paid his principal and -- after realizing he was amitting to tax evasion -- switched it and said that he had only got paid part of his principal and no interest. Yeah, riiiiight.
Anyway, Aida Perez has no love for Hernandez. She did not say hi to him. And while he and part of his Seguro Que Yes gang -- Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez and Pablito "Huh?" Hernandez -- watched and whispered in a tight huddle, Perez laughed at the sight of their nervous peeping. Shortly after, su acaldito left with his security bodyguard, Glen "The Goon" Rice. (Could he have been headed to a public housing building in West Hialeah where lines for section 8 had grown super long? We hope nobody was promised housing for votes).
But the star of the day so far is Aida Perez, a funny, up-front and forthcoming lady. And Ladra really needs to have her hair done, so an appointment -- and more friendly chat -- is in the future.
Posted by Ladra, the public watch dog at 11:19 AM