The Mallorcan businessman, Luis Riu Güell, co-owner of hotel chain Riu Hoteles, has been arrested in Miami for alleged illegal compensation to an official, a crime that in Spain would be tantamount to an attempt to do so, as reported by local press. The hotelier has delivered this Monday to Miami-Dade courthouse after arriving in U.S. on a flight from Spain and has decreed its release on bail of 20,000 dollars (16,237 euros). The hotelier is being investigated for offering free stays in luxury hotels to former construction director of city of Miami Beach, Mariano Fernandez.More information
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Prosecutor Karine Fernandez Rundle has explained in a public appearance that construction director of city of Miami Beach, Mariano Fernandez, "received luxury vacations in hotels and VIP treatment to expedite works and permits of hotel RIU Plaza in South Beach, even though it had not received permits or passed structural inspections ", so it did not fulfil its duty to" put welfare of community above any or interest ". Fernandez surrendered to authorities after being discovered and faces an illegal compensation charge and anor of criminal association to commit illegal compensation.
Toger with Fernandez, public prosecutor's office accuses Riu's owner and company's regional vice president, Alejandro Sánchez Arco, as well as hotel chain's subsidiary in Florida. He suspects that Fernandez helped hotel company in exchange for having free rooms and big discounts in hotels of Mexico and Dominican Republic.
Així Explicava, in Roda de Prema, Miami-Dade public prosecutor who operates Presumptament Subbornat pel Copropietari de Riu Hotels is going to deliver to Justice FA una setmana https://t.co/jPkmYakyID pic.twitter.com/djZZ3uH9B0— IB3 News (@IB3noticies) February 13, 2018
Luis Riu Güell — owner of a chain with more than 100 hotels in 19 countries, such as Mexico or Dominican Republic, in addition to South Beach — came to a Miami-Dade County Courthouse, where he was handcuffed and prosecuted. The newspaper Miami Herald accompanies his information with a picture of view, in which Riu appears sitting on a bench and statements by his defense attorney. According to newspaper, he has been imposed a bail of 20,000 dollars and will be allowed to travel to his residence in Majorca and or parts of world. "He travels a lot," said his lawyer Barry Wax, Miami-Dade judge Jorge Cueto. "We are confident that our clients have not committed any crime," said Wax.
The charges are related to refurbishment of Riu Plaza Hotel, whose remodeling process extended from 2013 to June 2016, and had to authorize and inspect Miami construction department. According to local newspaper, arrest occurs at a time when hotel company tries to expand its activities in area with four new facilities to be inaugurated in 2018, plus five major renovations.