Who'd have guessed a lawsuit-laden sugar company run by a former cocaine trafficker wasn't a great partner for Miami-Dade and Florida officials?
Hialeah's Banah International Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday, a year after it was approved for $430,000 in tax incentives, reports the New York Times -- and a year after none of the agencies awarding such incentives apparently noticed a convicted drug dealer was running the company, or that it was facing four lawsuits for nonpayment and had been slapped with an IRS lien. Instead, when Banah chairman Alexander I. Perez promised to bring almost 300 jobs to a new 300,000-square foot headquarters in Hialeah, he got help securing both local and state incentives from the county, its Beacon Council economic development group, and the state's Enterprise Florida. The deal was heralded: a street in Hialeah was renamed Banah Sweet Way with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez present. Then-U.S. Rep. David Rivera even gave Perez a congressional certificate for "outstanding and invaluable service to the community," reports Miami New Times, the duo posing in Washington, D.C. with Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehitinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. But on Friday, Banah reported in Chapter 11 filings that it owes between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000 to 232 people and companies, according to the Miami Herald, and has just 15 employees. A promised job fair was never held. (click pic to continue reading)
Via Billy Corben