Over the years, Miami has been home to some high profile construction disputes, including Birdman facing a pair of liens and a $325M museum. It should come as little surprise that the streak continues. One of the wealthiest property developers in Miami recently filed liens against his ex. The filings appear to be fraudulent mechanics liens, and this might not end well.
Fraudulent Mechanics Liens and Heartbreak
DISCLAIMER: Do not use levelset to get back at your ex. You should already know how we feel about filing fraudulent liens (don’t). levelset will not file your lien, and we will probably write an embarrassing blog post about it.
The developer in this story is Glenn Straub. Straub formerly owned the Miami Arena and developed Wellington’s Palm Beach Polo & Country Club. More recently, he bought the Revel Casino in Atlantic City and intends to turn it into a luxury resort called “TEN.” That project actually has its own lien problems.
Straub filed liens against his (alleged?) ex-girlfriend’s ranch and townhouse. On the ranch, Straub claims his companies performed over $60K in improvements. He claims nearly $13K in work was unpaid on the house. According to Jessica Nicodemo, the owner of the properties, the filings are fraudulent mechanics liens. Nicodemo claims the liens were only filed because she and Straub broke up. It should be noted that Straub has a Donald Trump-esque reputation when it comes to court filings. Ozy actually styles Straub as “The Trump Alter Ego Who Stuck to Real Estate.”
According to Nicodemo, she did not expect the bill due to the couple’s relationship, but she does not deny that Straub’s company completed the work. Straub’s response? “I didn’t know that she was a girlfriend.” The situation is currently under investigation by the Broward County State Attorney’s office.
I don’t know about you, but I’m on the edge of my seat!
Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of excitement in the lien world. That’s why when Justin Bieber or a former Miss USA faces a mechanics lien, we just can’t resist. But fraudulent lien claims are not to be trivialized- the use of fraudulent liens has caused serious problems in the construction industry. When people hear the term “lien,” many have a reflexive, negative response. That is due, in large part, to fraudulent lien claims that pop up in the news from time to time. On that note, while the story behind the liens is entertaining, hopefully Straub will be punished if the liens were indeed fraudulent.