City of Rogues

City of Rogues

Here are a few recent buyers of high-end Miami properties.

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The city’s culture of conspicuous consumption and corruption has made it a hot destination for oligarchs, financial criminals and others who seek a tropical haven for their riches. Here are a few of the area’s property owners and residents, with their countries of origin.


Cristóbal López

Argentina

Bio: Casino and gambling hall magnate whose businesses have thrived under longtime allies President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her late husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner. Shortly before leaving office in 2007, the latter issued a decree extending for twenty-five years López’s license to run slot machines at the Palermo racetrack.

Florida property: $1.6 million condo at Trump Tower, owned by an LLC called TT1-4301, of which he is the manager.


Felix Vulis

Kazakhstan

Bio: CEO of London-based ENRC, a mining firm owned by three oligarchs with close ties to Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev and accused of corrupt dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Named Britain’s greediest CEO by the Daily Mirror.

Florida property: $4.6 million unit at a 51-story condo, Jade Beach, in Sunny Isles. Female companion has shipped 800 pounds of furniture from Kazakhstan to Miami.


Jorge Alberto Tito

Argentina

Bio: A former member of the Carapintadas, according to Tiempo—the group of Argentine army veterans who mutinied against the democratically elected government of Raúl Alfonsín in the 1980s to block the prosecution of officials charged with human rights violations during the military dictatorship’s Dirty War.

Florida property: $1.1 million condo at Trump Palace, owned by a Florida company called TS 5, of which he is a director.


José Luis Manzano

Argentina

Bio: Business magnate and former interior minister under Menem who famously declared, “I steal for the crown”—referring to the president.

Florida property: $1.0 million in two condos at Seacoast 5151, a few minutes drive from South Beach.


Michael Cherney

Ukraine

Bio: Reportedly blocked from receiving a US visa since 1999 due to alleged ties to organized crime (lives in Israel). A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and written by the US ambassador to Uzbekistan, Jon Purnell, described Cherney as the head of a “Russian crime syndicate.”

Florida property: $7.0 million Boca Raton mansion, with six bedrooms, nine and a half bathrooms, a five-car garage, pool and dock, owned by his two daughters. Sold an $875,000 property at the Mizner Tower, on the grounds of the Boca Raton Resort and Beach Club, earlier this year.


Milan Popovic

Serbia

Bio: Industrialist and copper trader who once worked for Marc Rich, founder of Glencore, the gigantic, ethically challenged Swiss-based commodities firm. Reportedly bulldozed a multimillion-dollar estate in a Belgrade suburb on the advice of a psychic who told him it was haunted.

Florida property: $2.6 million condo on Fisher Island.


Milagros Brito

Argentina

Bio: At 35, she runs a luxury real estate firm owned by father Jorge’s Banco Macro, which acquired other banks privatized during the Menem years. He is now known as the “Kirchners’ banker.”

Florida property: $650K condo in Trump Tower, owned through an LLC.


Zulemita Menem

Argentina

Bio: Daughter of former Argentine President Carlos Menem; filled the role of first lady to her father, who was divorced. During Menem’s reign (1989–99), Zulemita frequently turned up in Miami society-page photos wearing luxury jewelry and clothing, feeding suspicions that she was a beneficiary of her father’s spectacularly corrupt government.

Florida property: $1.2 million condo in Bal Harbor. The property, where she has resided, is owned by a banker who prospered under her father’s regime.

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