The tax-evasion trial of former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and his wife got underway Friday with opening statements.
A 12-person Miami federal jury, which was picked Thursday, will hear allegations that Robaina and his wife, Raiza, conspired to defraud the federal government by failing to report more than $1 million in income — including $300,000 in cash payments allegedly collected from now-imprisoned investment scammer Luis Felipe Perez. The trial, presided over by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro, could last three weeks.
Before trial, prosecutors Richard Gregorie and Michael Davis argued that the couple had a conflict of interest with being represented by one defense attorney. They claimed that Robaina arranged to be paid in cash by Perez so he could use the money for his alleged mistress and keep it a secret from his wife.
But the Robainas stood united, insisting that the issue would not pose a conflict at trial because Perez and another witness who made the allegation were “liars.”
Friday, April 11, 2014
Tax fraud trial starts for former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina
The case is before Judge Ungaro. The Herald has these details from the start of the trial: