During the 2012 NBA playoffs, Miami Heat seats were the hottest ticket in town and businessman Ibes Gomez scored the luxury suites.
Gomez watched in style at the AmericanAirlines Arena five games in all, including three Finals home victories against the Oklahoma Thunder that netted Lebron James his first championship ring.
But when the confetti stopped falling, the Heat got stiffed for the bill — at least $113,963 in bounced checks, according to Miami-Dade prosecutors.
Two years later, the 35-year-old Miami conman with a long history of kiting checks has now been charged with swindling the basketball team. He is sitting in a Miami-Dade jail awaiting trial.
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“It was crème de la crème seats. He went. He was wined and dined. And unfortunately, the money didn’t come through,” said his attorney, Ted Mastos.
The luxury suites, which featured catered booze and food, were paid for through Gomez’s business called Logicare Corp. “Some kind of software company,” Mastos said.
But when a company investor “didn’t come through,” Gomez couldn’t pay, according to Mastos.
A Heat spokeswoman declined to comment on the arrest.
His troubles go beyond the Heat. Gomez declared federal bankruptcy last year. And he is a gambling addict “seeking professional help,” his lawyer said.
Gomez ostensibly ran another company called Global Tire Sales. He is also now facing felony charges for allegedly writing more than $8,400 in back checks to two local tire businesses.
His penchant for passing bad checks is staggering — at least eight arrests and a series of probation violations for a crime that prosecutors usually avoid pursuing in favor of repayment. He got five years of probation for a 2008 spree that included phony checks worth $12,500 for rent and new furniture and $2,000 for plane tickets from a travel agency.
Gomez also wrote a bad check, for $1,050 — to get six tickets to see the Miami Dolphins play the New England Patriots.
“He really loves sports,” Mastos said.