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Former mayor faces tax evasion charges

Posted at 8:14 PM, May 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-16 20:14:00-04

MIAMI (AP) - A former South Florida mayor is facing federal tax evasion charges.


      Former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and his wife, 39-year-old Raiza Villacis Robaina, were charged Thursday. They are expected to turn themselves in Friday and make their first court appearance.


      Federal officials say the 47-year-old Robaina received undisclosed cash payments as interest on more than $1 million in personal loans he made to old friends and associates, including convicted Ponzi schemer Luis Felipe Perez. The Miami Herald reports that the IRS began investigating Robaina's finances in 2010, while authorities were making their case against Perez, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence.


      Robaina previously told The Herald that he reported all interest income from loans on his personal and corporate tax returns, before and after he became mayor in 2005. He left office in 2011.