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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From a hotel chain to a guest in a Miami jail

Por sumily

The Miami-Dade State Attorney believes that Fernandez helped RIU with permits and even allowed him to avoid fines while asking for free rooms for him and his employees. According to the arrest warrant, RIU offered the entire Construction Department of Miami Beach rates with large discounts for withdrawals in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. To file charges, prosecutors relied on a large number of internal emails. To say of Riu in an email, what he has done for us is not a small thing, while approving rates with great discounts for municipal employees of Miami Beach to stay at the company's facilities in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

He is the owner of a well-known Spanish company that has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries, such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and South Beach. Luis Riu Güell, entered for a stay in the jail of Miami-Dade, this Monday. Riu surrendered to face accusations that he offered free accommodation at luxury hotels to the then construction director of Miami Beach in exchange for his assistance in the large-scale renovation of his hotel in South Beach.

After arriving on a flight from Spain, Riu entered a court in Miami-Dade, where he was handcuffed and prosecuted. Even so, he probably will not spend a lot of time behind bars because he will be allowed to pay a $ 20,000 bail and can travel to his home in Mallorca, Spain, and to his facilities around the world.

For this, his defense lawyer, Barry Wax, argued before the Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto that Riu traveled a lot.

Last week, prosecutors indicted Mariano Fernández, former Construction Director of Miami Beach, as well as Riu and the company's regional vice president, Alejandro Sánchez del Arco. The Floridian affiliate of RIU Hotel and Resorts in Florida was also charged. All are accused of illegal compensation and conspiracy to pay illegal compensation. Sanchez also turned himself in on Monday.

Riu owns the hotel chain together with his sister. His grandparents established the chain in 1953 in Mallorca. At present, the company employs more than 28,000 people and serves more than four million customers a year, according to data reflected in the company's digital page. The arrest comes at a time when the chain is trying to expand its activities, with four new facilities to be inaugurated in 2018, in addition to five major renovations. Last month the chain launched a marketing campaign in which it was presented as a modern brand, fresher and warmer. The criminal charges in Miami are related to the remodeling of RIU Plaza Hotel, at 3101 Collins Ave. The Miami Beach Construction Department was in charge of permits and inspections in the massive renovation, which lasted from October 2013 to June 2016