1 Fort Lauderdale
Local Search & News & Reviews
They allegedly lied to win construction contracts on low-income housing repairs in Miami-Dade, and now the president and vice president of Aaron Construction Group have been charged with bilking the county’s housing agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a federal indictment.
Javier Estepa, 47, of Davie and Diego Estepa Vazquez, 36, of Boca Raton were charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. They will make their first appearance before a judge Monday in Miami federal court. If convicted, the pair could each face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to the eight-page federal indictment, the men submitted low bids to secure contracts with the Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development department, which manages more than 9,200 units across the county. From June 2014 through December 2016, the men made “materially false and fraudulent representations” to get extra money.
Among the charges: The pair fraudulently represented the number of workers needed for the projects; said subcontractors would not be needed; and promised to get insurance, as required by state law. All of these measures resulted in a savings, meaning they pocketed the difference, according to the indictment.
In all, the agency transferred nearly $1 million in three separate transactions — though it isn’t clear how much money they should have received.