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Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina’s Contributions from Illegal Gaming (Links to records) (Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate)

Posted by FactReal on May 22, 2011

There have been many news reports about the cozy relationship between Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and the industry of video gaming machines (a.k.a. slot machines, maquinitas). These machines, which many consider gambling, have proliferated in Hialeah under Robaina’s administration.

Public records indicate persons linked to illegal gambling and other shady businesses have donated to Building a Brighter Future, a political action committee (PAC) created by Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina. They have also contributed to PACs formed by Robaina’s friends.

PAC: Building a Brighter Future

CHAIRMAN: Julio Robaina (See Registered Agent Appointment – 2/9/2009)

CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED:
(See the Florida Div. of Elections – Campaign Finance)

Date Amount Contributor Name Occupation
02/03/2009 $3,000.00 ABREU SPORT AMUSEMENT CORP. ENTERTAINMENT
03/16/2009 $10,000.00 CABRERIZO TOMAS REAL ESTATE INVESTOR

INFORMATION ABOUT CONTRIBUTORS:

Abreu Sport Amusement Corp.
Jesus Abreu was the owner of Abreu Sport Amusement Corp. until April 2000 when he transferred the company to his wife Odalys Abreu.

According to news reports 1, Jesus Abreu “pleaded guilty of operating an illegal gambling house in 2002 and 2007.”

Tomas Cabrerizo 2
“NEW YORK — Tomas Cabrerizo, the chief executive officer of a Miami-based sourcing company called Trends Clothing, was among 25 people arrested by law enforcement authorities last Thursday in what they described as a major organized-crime bust.

Cabrerizo was charged with federal counts of racketeering conspiracy and illegal gambling, according to papers filed with the U.S. District Court in Miami by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Authorities also charged Jose Miguel Battle Sr., whom they described as the head of Miami’s Cuban Mafia, and his son, Jose Miguel Battle Jr. The elder Battle was arrested in a grocery store, while his son was taken from a cruise ship, according to reports in The Miami Herald. The 25 defendants were charged with running what the U.S. Attorney’s office, in a statement, called “The Corporation,” an organized-crime ring that conducted gambling operations known as bolita, trafficked in illegal drugs, stole and resold merchandise and backed up its operations through violence and intimidation.

“The indictment alleges that the corporation laundered these illicit profits through various ‘puppet’ companies in the Miami area and through the development of a casino in Lima, Peru,” the statement said.”

PAC: The Truth For Our Community

CHAIRMAN: Julio Ponce who is a political ally and close friend of Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and the director of the Hialeah Housing Authority.

CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED:
(See Miami-Dade Elections Dept.’s Voter Focus– List of All Contributions):

Date Amount Contributor Name Occupation
6/12/2008 $10,000.00 JESUS R NAVARRO investor

INFORMATION ABOUT CONTRIBUTORS:

Jesus Navarro
“Robaina was pivotal in pushing ordinances that allowed for the use of these machines in question. One operator of particular interest is Jesus Navarro, who currently holds 81 of 405 gaming licenses issued by the City of Hialeah. Navarro is also said to have numerous other gaming companies under the names of several of his family members, including All American Amusements, Inc., based out of Hialeah that coincidentally jointly listed with individuals with the same Navarro surname.” 3

Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina “issued a proclamation to honor one of the city’s leading gaming-machine owners, declaring April 25, 2006, “Jesus Navarro Day.”” 4

“Navarro, the owner of All American Amusements whom Robaina honored in 2006; his son Christian Navarro, an owner of Wildfire Amusements, and establishments housing their machines have pitched in more than $8,000, campaign reports show.” 4

PAC: Informing Our Community: The Truth

CHAIRMAN: Julio Ponce who is a political ally and close friend of Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and the director of the Hialeah Housing Authority.

CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED:
(See Miami-Dade Elections Dept.’s Voter Focus– List of All Contributions):

Date Amount Contributor Name Occupation
4/13/2009 $3,000.00 GP AMUSEMENTS INC. ENTERTAINMENT

INFORMATION ABOUT CONTRIBUTORS:

GP Amusement
Orlando Cordoves, part owner of GP Amusement:
“A Robaina contributor and maquinita owner operating in Hialeah…Orlando Cordoves, part owner of GP Amusement…was charged in a 2004 federal gambling racketeering case that targeted the so-called “Cuban Mafia’’ led by Jose M. Battle. But his name has been expunged from the federal court records and, according to his attorney, Rick Diaz, charges were dismissed. Cordoves, relatives and his companies have contributed $2,950 to Robaina’s campaign — and $500 was returned by the Robaina campaign. Cordoves previously contributed to Robaina’s 2009 campaign.

Cordoves has been an active proponent of maquinitas.” 4

NEWS SOURCES:
1. CBSMiami, Miami Police Chief Accuses Mayor Of Interfering, December 31, 2010, http://miami.cbslocal.com/2010/12/31/miami-police-chief-accuses-mayor-of-interfering/

2. WWD Tuesday, Feds Indict Trends CEO In Organized Crime Raid, March 23, 2004, http://www.wwd.com/media/issues/2004/03/23/issue-81759.pdf

3. Shark Tank, Robaina Raises $600K, But Questions Still Loom Over Illegal Gaming in Hialeah, April 2, 2011, http://shark-tank.net/2011/04/02/robaina-raises-600k-but-questions-still-loom-over-illegal-gaming-in-hialeah/

4. America Times, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina’s Connection to Slot Machine Industry, May 4, 2011, http://americatimes.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/hialeah-mayor-julio-robainas-connection-to-slot-machine-industry/

MORE
– Reuters, “Cuban mafia” chieftain sentenced in Miami, March 16, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/03/16/us-usa-cubanmafia-idUSN1623953320070316

– El Nuevo Herald, Donaciones de campaña del sector de maquinitas, March 27, 2011, http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2011/03/26/v-fullstory/910727/donaciones-de-campana-del-sector.html

– El Nuevo Herald, La campaña de Robaina acapara recaudaciones, April 27, 2011, http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2011/04/26/v-fullstory/929727/la-campana-de-robaina-acapara.html

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