Glen Waldman, a Miami-based attorney representing the Jockey Club I and II condo owner associations, claims Apeiron Miami has run out of money amid the . Some creditors have filed suit against Langford's Jockey Club Resorts Inc. over bad checks: Grand Western Brands Inc. for $, Uleta Rentals Inc. for $, Aaron Rents Inc. for $, Miami. Biscayne Bl Miami, FL Save; Share. Jockey Club. 21 Floors. $, - $, View all units available. Total units For sale 37 18 Units with 2 Bedrooms Just Sold at Jockey Club. Unit Beds Baths Price Sq Ft $ / Sq Ft Closed Date; 9D: 2: 2.
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Los Angeles. Mario Rodriguez, a Miami-based developer of time-share resorts, acted as a broker in Hernandez and Anton's attempts to woo Argentine time-share firm Apartour into developing Jockey IV on the adjacent Lear School property. No Jockey Club-related entity owns this weed-choked, eight-acre slice of land and its crumbling, low-slung buildings, but the Herman group has consistently used the possibility of developing it as a carrot for prospective investors.
Rodriguez knew Susan Garfinkle, who took him to meet Eddie Anton last winter. Machiavelli," Rodriguez says dryly of Anton. He was a manipulator like you wouldn't believe. I first went in with the idea that me and my group would be developers or managers for developers, but it didn't take too long to realize that it would require ongoing cooperation with Eddie and company, and that just was not going to work. George Hernandez says Anton's overbearing manner eventually proved too much to take: "Toward the end of November and into December, he had taken too much control and was starting to be antagonistic with the Hermans.
I dismissed him. Getting rid of Anton, though, did nothing to help Hernandez finalize a deal for Jockey IV or even buy the existing club. When the first day of came, attorney Goodman says, Hernandez had paid neither the various debts and obligations still owed on the property, nor the agreed-upon down payment.
As far as the Hermans were concerned, Hernandez's reign at the Jockey Club was over right then, even though he continued on at the club for some weeks.
While acknowledging that he couldn't come up with all of the funds, Hernandez says his departure from the scene was at least partially his choice. I wasn't interested in running the club without owning it. With Hernandez neither owning nor operating the facility, the first two months of became a bizarre interregnum. The height of the insanity was a party for South Florida magazine to which Hernandez had committed.
For a while it appeared that the fete would fall through altogether. But the Hermans ponied up the necessary cash to pay the staff and the entertainment aging Brit-rocker Dave Mason, flown in just for this performance , and the party was by all accounts a success.
Publicist Garfinkle left the Jockey Club after this party and has since moved herself and her business to Boca Raton. By the end of February Hernandez and Anton had other concerns -- the "financial and legal problems" to which Hernandez alluded above.
Both were named in a lawsuit alleging that Hernandez, through his law practice, was selling mortgages on properties he didn't own. The plaintiffs in the case, which was filed February 27 and is still unresolved, are two national title-insurance underwriters that guaranteed titles insured by policies issued by Hernandez in his role as a title insurance agent. In an affidavit, Lynn Wilburn, a private investigator retained by the title insurance firms, writes that on at least two separate occasions Bell Holdings Inc.
Bell Holdings is owned by year-old entrepreneur Robert Bell, whose Banana Boat sunscreen was an international success and earned him millions. Wilburn asserts in the affidavit that the deed Hernandez delivered to Bell Holdings for this property on September 24 of last year was fraudulent. Robert Bell himself confirms that Bell Holdings did business with George Hernandez but won't comment in detail because of the litigation. In other instances, Wilburn continues, Hernandez persuaded Bell Holdings to lend money to people to buy real estate -- but in many cases, Wilburn writes, no purchase was made; Hernandez allegedly kept the money.
Though the acts he describes are crimes notably mortgage fraud, a federal offense , no criminal charges have been filed in this matter against Hernandez or Anton. Wilburn would not comment on the specifics of his findings outside of what was set forth in his affidavit, but he did confirm that Hernandez and Anton were being investigated for these questionable transactions. The U. Attorney's Office in Miami would not comment for this story. Possible criminal consequences notwithstanding, the civil case alone has drastically reshaped Hernandez's life.
Shortly after the suit was filed, Hernandez resigned from the Florida Bar. Hernandez has a theory about the source of the fraudulent documents mentioned in the title insurers' lawsuit. When that hit, and I saw that he'd used my name on the forgery, I voluntarily and temporarily resigned from the Bar to show that I had nothing to do with this. When I fired him, for whatever reason he went back to his old ways. That Hernandez, the man he says was once as close to him as a brother, would accuse him of forging documents is no surprise to the incarcerated Anton.
He also insists that Hernandez knew full well what kind of felon he was. I'm not going to tell you that if I had the ability to redo it again that I would not do the deal. I think the deal was a good fuckin' deal, and a deal that I proved that you could make money on. Unfortunately, George Hernandez needed to steal money to make the deal happen. Unfortunately, there was a man with a criminal fuckin' record in the middle, who was able to be used. The Herman family was reluctant to be interviewed for this story.
But over coffee and cookies in their two seventh-floor apartments in Jockey I, Jack Herman, his wife Bobbie, and their daughter Stephanie tried to put a brave face on what Stephanie called the family's "annus horribilis. In addition to the craziness at the club downstairs, the family was beset by further tragedy. The Hermans' comments on the brief reign of George Hernandez are often oblique, though at the mention of Eddie Anton's name the family moans in unison.
His behavior was very Jack Herman, a smallish, tanned man in a bright yellow polo shirt, is more willing to talk about the group of potential new owners for the Jockey Club, who entered the picture in mid-February, shortly before the nearly canceled South Florida magazine party.
The principal figure in this new group was Trinidadian businessman Karl C. Langford by a reputable person who lives in Washington.
He seemed very credible," Jack Herman says. Herman says Langford, much like Hernandez before him, entered into a licensing agreement with the Herman group toward the end of February, under which he would operate the club with the intention of eventually buying it. The people were real; we've since heard that they were fooled, just like we were. Holdovers from Hernandez's team quickly realized that the switch to Langford was not going to be the panacea the Hermans hoped for.
Aston recalls that Langford and his assistant, Susan Fletcher, simply weren't paying anyone for anything -- vendors or employees. We couldn't even get the garbage picked up. He used to send people to buy the liquor illegally -- in the stores, that's illegal to sell in the bar.
What he was trying to do, I think, was milk the place, because he was collecting all the dues from members, collecting revenues from the marina, collecting this, collecting that, and not using any money whatsoever for any purchases.
They had to go around with whoever it was because it was the only chance they had to have the thing open. Between February and June of this year, the Jockey Club continued to operate under Langford, but his apparent inability or unwillingness to pay employees was a continual problem. Chef Daniel Theme who has since moved on to Lucky Cheng's restaurant in Miami Beach says that he was almost never paid on time under Langford, and then was rarely paid in full.
Kitchen staff fared much worse; Theme recalls more than one occasion when he had to give a five-dollar-per-hour employee cash out of his own pocket for gas or food. Yet Langford continued to drum up interest in the Jockey IV development and successfully wooed at least one investor.
Richard Hines, a real estate consultant and investor in Alexandria, Virginia near Langford's old home base of Washington, D. Hines is not the only D.
Circuit court records in Prince George's County, Maryland, show that in March two firms sued Langford for breach of contract. Hines remembers seeing an example of Langford's reluctance to pay his staff. On one visit to the Jockey Club, he says, he saw Susan Fletcher "verbally abusing" one of the kitchen staff. From the content of the harangue, Hines says, "it was clear he had not been paid. He conned people regardless of race, color, or creed, and if you didn't have money to feed your family that was just too bad.
If someone like me gets conned, I probably deserve it," Hines allows. From February on, according to Theme and Aston, the size of the staff began to dwindle. The South Florida shindig in late February was the last party of any consequence. Aston left in April, Theme about a month later. Condo association president Jack Waxenberg remembers going down to the restaurant one day during this period and seeing a single waiter on duty. Finally, in mid-June, Langford and Fletcher left not only the Jockey Club but apparently the country.
The restaurant and bars have been buttoned up tight ever since. Stephanie Herman remembers a phone call from Fletcher in which she said that she and Langford were in Jamaica and were "afraid of some of the people they owed money to.
In several of these cases, a summons could not be delivered to the defendants; Scott Modlin, attorney for Uleta Rentals, says the process server who attempted to deliver the summons to Langford noted that the defendant, as of mid-July, was in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
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