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South florida couple arrested for bilking hotel

July 17, 2013

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Two hotel employees who happen to be husband and wife were arrested for stealing from a local hotel. The wife, Ivy Evans-Maquilon, was employed by the Miami International Airport Hotel and worked as part of the hotel's management team in charge of purchasing supplies to keep the hotel in good condition. Miami-Dade police are accusing the wife of allowing her husband to supply items such carpeting, wallpaper and tiles to the hotel for day-to-day maintenance. The husband, Jorge Maquilon would provide more supplies than were needed and then would over-bill the hotel. The couple appeared at the bond hearing represented by criminal attorneys from the Miami-Dade County Public Defender's Office.

The circuit court judge presiding over the bond hearing set the bond at $60,000 for each defendant and required them to turn in their passports before being released. Defendants with ties outside the United States or who frequently travel outside the country are often required to surrender passports as part of the conditions of their pre-trial release. In this case, the bond hearing judge mostly likely required the surrender of the passports when it became known that the defendants were Peruvian nationals.

The Miami-Dade police department and the Inspector General's Office allegedly became aware of the couple's improprieties when the hotel's chief engineer and maintenance supervisor surrendered to the authorities. Nestor Aznar entered a plea to the charge of organized scheme to defraud and is awaiting sentencing. The arrest affidavit implicating the couple established that the wife approached Aznar, a 19 year employee of the hotel, in 2004. She told him that if he purchased items from 1 of 2 companies, apparently run by her husband, he would receive a kick-back for every requisition that he approved. Between 2007 and 2010, Aznar approved 81 requisition orders from one of those companies.

The husband and wife were arrested for one count of organized fraud and two counts of grand theft. Prior to the filing of charges, criminal lawyers from the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office public corruption unit will review the evidence and speak with any relevant witnesses prior to making a filing decision regarding the charges. It is apparent that the prosecutors have already spoken to Aznar, who without a doubt provided the information that led to the couple's arrest. If the couple has no prior record in the criminal justice system, a probationary plea will probably be extended with the condition that restitution be paid. Of course, this is assuming that the police accumulated enough evidence to convict the defendants. It is alleged that the couple wrongfully obtained approximately $222,000 through unwarranted price increases and falsified procurement records.

Couple Arrested in Overbilling Scheme at Miami International Airport Hotel, Miami, July 16, 2013.
Categories: Public Corruption
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