The 38-year-old former CEO of Carlisle Development Group apologized on Wednesday to a federal judge for his wrongdoing and for “casting a cloud” over an affordable-housing industry whose mission is to build homes for society’s most needy.
“It pains me very deeply,” Greer, 38, said, choking up during his statement to the judge.
Yet his high-profile defense attorney, Roy Black, argued that Greer deserved no prison time because he pleaded guilty, cooperated with authorities, paid back the stolen money and has devoted his life to charity — including his latest effort to help a nonprofit group develop an Overtown housing complex for homeless mothers and their children.
Black touted the South Florida housing projects built by Carlisle with tax credits issued by the U.S. government, while downplaying that Greer and others involved in his partnerships inflated the constructions costs so they could split millions in illegal profits.
“I think the public got what they paid for,” Black told U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. “They were not cheated.”
Prosecutor Michael Sherwin hammered that point, saying Greer was driven by “greed,” not charity, and that he “lost his way.”
“This was a lie for money,” Sherwin said.
The federal sentencing guidelines for Greer’s offense range from eight to ten years in the $34 million housing fraud probe that disgraced the one-time CEO and his Miami-based company, Carlisle, which was started by his father, lawyer Bruce Greer, two decades ago. Bruce Greer and his wife, Evelyn, a lawyer who once served as mayor of Pinecrest and on the Miami-Dade school board, attended the hearing.
On Wednesday, the prosecutor recommended that the judge start at eight years and then reduce it by 40 percent for Greer’s assistance in the long-running FBI and IRS investigation — for a total sentence of about five years.
Ungaro said she would issue her decision on Greer’s sentence along with punishment for five other co-defendants on Monday, after hearing arguments from defense attorneys and prosecutors.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Judge Ungaro hears sentencing arguments in Matthew Greer's case
It's Michael Sherwin and Michael Berger for the government. And for Greer, it's Roy Black, Hy Shapiro, and Jackie Perczek. Really great lawyering all around. Jay Weaver from the Herald is covering the sentencing: