Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

Prosecutors: Miami developer, 77, a danger and should remain jailed on bank fraud charges

Federal prosecutors say Domenic Rabuffo, the 77-year-old Miami developer of a controversial North Carolina development, poses a danger to the community and should remain behind bars until trial on multiple charges of bank fraud.

Rabuffo and six other Florida residents were arrested last week for allegedly scamming banks out of almost $50 million in mortgage money. Each faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine.

Rabuffo, his ex-wife, Mae, Land O'Lakes engineer Raymond E. Olivier, Tampa mortgage and investment broker Curtis Allen Davis and others are accused of using dozens of straw buyers and corporations to purchase lots near Cashiers, N.C. Most of the buyers are Florida residents, including many from the Tampa Bay area.

All but Rabuffo have been released on $100,000 bond.

Because of his age, Rabuffo faces a de facto life sentence if convicted. Prosecutors say Rabuffo is likely to flee, noting he frequently travels to Mexico, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and has access to millions of dollars which he keeps in the names of others.

Prosecutors contend that Rabuffo has no ties to South Florida except for a daughter who lives in Fort Lauderdale.

In an affidavit filed in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwayne E. Williams says Rabuffo has a long history of perpetrating fraudulent schemes disguised as businesses and now claims to be in the metal trading business with two Florida companies: Ore Trading LLC and Mar Construction Communications Inc.

"There is clear and convincing evidence that no conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community if Domenico Rabuffo is released on bond,'' prosecutors contend.

On Tuesday, Rabuffo will try to persuade a federal magistrate in Miami to let him remain free on bail.

The federal indictment accuses Olivier and Davis of soliciting buyers with a promise to pay them $12,500 a year for the use of their names and credit for bank loans. Each buyer would get an additional $12,500 a year if they pursued a construction mortgage.

Prosecutors say Rabuffo has hidden assets and once showed a witness a bank statement on an account containing $9 million. The account, like much of the land he purchased in North Carolina, was in his ex-wife's name.

Rabuffo has also boasted that his ore trading business is very lucrative and once told Olivier not to worry about a lawsuit because he had "billions coming in'' from a business in Mexico.

Comments
Ex-wife said heart attack, but court record says Hillsborough developer was strangled in North Carolina home

Ex-wife said heart attack, but court record says Hillsborough developer was strangled in North Carolina home

A prominent Hillsborough County developer who died last month in North Carolina was strangled and police are investigating his death as suspicious, court records show. William "Bill" Bishop died in a hospital three days after his 16-year-old son repo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mother fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

Mother fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

TAMPA— A mother was killed Wednesday when she was struck by a vehicle while pushing a stroller on Bayshore Boulevard, according to the Tampa Police Department.The mother and 2-year-old girl were struck by a northbound car around 11:43 a.m. near W Kni...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

BROOKSVILLE— An 87-year-old motorist died Tuesday night after she collided with a pickup truck while driving on the wrong side of the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash occurred about 8:50 p.m. as Patricia Green Marlette of Brook...
Updated: 8 hours ago
FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

A woman state authorities say was scammed out of $480,000 by two of her employees is an heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that the victim in the case is Helen Rich, 69, formerly Hel...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

In a scene repeated at public buildings across the country, the American flag in front of the library outside my office window was lowered to half-staff this week.This time for 10 dead in Texas.In February, the American flag was similarly half-staff ...
Published: 05/23/18
Largo man broke into jewelry store, cut himself on glass and bled all over everything, police say

Largo man broke into jewelry store, cut himself on glass and bled all over everything, police say

A Largo man was arrested Monday after police said he broke into the front door of a jewelry store and stole $10,000 in jewelry, but cut himself in the process and left blood all over the store.Police arrested Jaime Williams, 31, on a charge of burgla...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Police: St. Pete man who pried a safe out of the wall in custody

Police: St. Pete man who pried a safe out of the wall in custody

ST. PETERSBURG — It took more than an hour for a 25-year-old man to break into a restaurant, pry a safe out of the wall, drag it through the back and then wrestle it into his car, according to police.That was last week. Michael Murphy was arrested Tu...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Search underway for North Carolina man missing from Tampa-based Carnival Paradise

Search underway for North Carolina man missing from Tampa-based Carnival Paradise

The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Tuesday for a 50-year-old North Carolina man who reportedly fell off a Tampa-based cruise ship.The Coast Guard Key West received a call from the cruise ship Carnival Paradise about 10 a.m. saying the man, Brian Lamo...
Published: 05/22/18
Deputies: 10th-grader brings loaded gun to Bradenton high school

Deputies: 10th-grader brings loaded gun to Bradenton high school

A Bradenton Bayshore High School student faces charges after he brought a gun on campus on Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.Around 11:45 a.m., school resource officers were alerted by school staff that the student, a 10th-gra...
Published: 05/22/18
Police swarm Panama City street in apparent shootout

Police swarm Panama City street in apparent shootout

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Multiple law enforcement agencies have surrounded a Panama City apartment building where an active shooter is barricaded inside.City spokeswoman Caitlyn Lawrence says it’s still an active situation. The suspect has been firing on ...
Published: 05/22/18