20 July 2004 – LAWFUEL – See PRESS RELEASES for today’s law announcements
Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Michael S. Clemens, Acting Special Agent in Charge, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that defendant, Ira Marc Katz, was sentenced to a term of twenty-one (21) months in prison for bribery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 666, by United States District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez. Judge Martinez also ordered Katz to pay $200,000 in restitution and a $10,000 fine and to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term and 150 hours of community service.
Ira Marc Katz was Executive Director of Bayfront Park Management Trust (Bayfront) from at least 1996 to February 2000. Bayfront is a City of Miami park that receives federal funding and is managed by a Board of Trustees. As Executive Director, Katz was responsible for managing Bayfront and its contractors, including making payments to the contractors.
Specifically, the Information charged that beginning at least as early as 1996 and continuing at least through February 2000, Katz demanded kickbacks/bribes from the various contractors of Bayfront. The contractors paid these monies to Katz so that their contracts with Bayfront would be renewed. To pay the kickbacks/bribes, the contractors would either inflate the cost of services provided to Bayfront and/or charge Bayfront for services never provided. Katz authorized the payments of these false invoices. The contractors then would provide the money to Katz in the form of cash payments, paid credit card charges, sports or travel tickets, and other ways. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Katz agreed to pay to the City of Miami a restitution amount of $200,000.
Two contractors, Reynaldo Ros and Antonio Jose Baste, also have admitted their participation in this bribery scheme and pled guilty. Reynaldo Ros was President and owner of Hi-Tech Concrete, Inc. and TLM, Inc., both Florida corporations doing business with the City of Miami. Ros became involved with Bayfront in approximately 1996, performing various maintenance and engineering projects at Bayfront Park. Beginning in 1998, Ros over billed Bayfront for services provided by his companies and by charging Bayfront for services he never provided. Ros defrauded
Bayfront out of approximately $156,000. Antonio Jose Baste was President and owner of Intercity Contracting, Inc. and Minority Services, Inc., both Florida corporations doing business with the City of Miami. Baste became involved with Bayfront in approximately 1987, performing various maintenance, engineering, and electrical projects at Bayfront Park. Beginning in 1996, Baste over billed Bayfront for services provided by his companies and by charging Bayfront for services he never provided. Baste defrauded Bayfront out of approximately $50,000. Ros and Baste used the money derived from the fraud to influence Katz in connection with the operations of Bayfront Park.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the City of Miami Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lilly Ann Sanchez.