Accused swindler Claudio Osorio stuck in jail without bond before Miami fraud trial

An international businessman who once called exclusive Star Island home must remain behind bars before his Miami criminal trial on fraud charges.

12/17/2012 6:22 PM

12/17/2012 6:41 PM

Claudio Osorio once lived in a Star Island mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Today the accused international con man remains stuck in a tiny jail cell in downtown Miami.

Arrested earlier this month, Osorio is awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of fleecing $50 million from investors and the U.S. government.

Osorio’s defense attorney, Orlando do Campo, said Monday his client chose not to challenge the government’s position that he should be held without bail, citing a recent problem in his bankruptcy case. Osorio, 54, is being held in the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami.

Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman originally granted Osorio a $1 million bond, including a $100,000 deposit to be made by his mother-in-law who lives in his native Venezuela. But the judge put it on hold so that a federal prosecutor, a bankruptcy trustee and Osorio’s bankruptcy lawyer could address a dispute over the source of the defendant’s funds.

The bankruptcy trustee is seeking to have Osorio found in contempt of court for allegedly forging a letter from a Canadian bank that purportedly claimed it had turned over all financial records related to his defunct company, InnoVida Holdings.

Osorio is accused of using the Miami Beach-based company, which claimed to produce high-tech building panels for low-cost housing in Haiti and other countries, to deceive investors and boost his lifestyle.

Last year, a bankruptcy judge ordered Osorio to sell the one major asset that belonged to him and his wife, Amarilis. The couple auctioned their one-acre, two-story Star Island home with infinity pool for $12.7 million. The sale of the heavily mortgaged property generated millions for banks and other lenders, and some money for his burned investors, including NBA star Carlos Boozer and Miami-Dade businessman Chris Korge.

Osorio, who once hosted fundraisers for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other big-time politicians at the Star Island home, was allowed to keep at least $500,000 of the sales proceeds.

In July, he and his wife paid nearly $924,000 for a four-bedroom, five-bathroom condominium in Aventura — but now federal prosecutors have moved to seize the property as part of the criminal case, which was investigated by the FBI.

According to an indictment, Osorio conspired to swindle $40 million from 10 investors and an additional $10 million from a federal government program between 2006 and 2011. He was formerly charged with wire fraud and money laundering.

A codefendant, Craig S. Toll, 64, of Pembroke Pines, who worked as InnoVida’s chief financial officer, was granted a $50,000 bond before trial. Toll’s attorney, Richard Klugh, said his client should not have been named in the indictment because he has committed no wrongdoing.

The indictment also refers to an “unindicted co-conspirator” who personally benefitted from Osorio’s alleged business scam. Although not identified by name, the co-conspirator is Osorio’s wife, Amarilis, according to sources familiar with the case.

The wife attended Monday’s bond hearing, but said nothing.

The arraignment for Osorio and Toll is set for Friday.

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service