Luis Alberto Ramirez, owner of Aviation Main Services Inc. and contractor for the Miami International Airport, was arrested last Thursday for allegedly falsifying invoices and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the airport for the past seven years.
Ramirez is being charged with grand theft of over $100,000 and organizing schemes to defraud over $50,000 from the Miami International Airport. He is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond. News sources did not specify an attorney for Ramirez.
According to investigators from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, Ramirez purportedly charged cargo carriers extra fees for services offered by his company in the seven-year period between 2008 and 2015. Ramirez allegedly charged carriers 7% for ground support services, then falsified reports to the county claiming the carriers were only billed 3% for line maintenance services.
Investigators argue Ramirez misrepresented the true nature of those fees to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and managed to defraud the airport of $376,809. “There will be a high personal cost for those nickels, dimes and dollars fraudulently siphoned from taxpayers,” State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said in a prepared statement, “because you will be arrested and you will find yourself standing inside a jail cell.”
It’s not uncommon for companies to attempt to overcharge the airport for goods and services. Last year, Ian Norris and his insurance company, Sabal Insurance Group, were charged with five counts of grand theft after overbilling the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and a baggage-handling company contracted by the airport over $400,000 in insurance premiums between 2009 and 2010.
In 2013, yet another similar case was uncovered. A married couple hired to oversee the purchase of supplies for the airport’s hotel were arrested and accused of lying about the quantity of items purchased and jacking up prices by more than $222,000. The pair were charged with one count of organized fraud and two counts of grand theft.
Source: 3.31.16 Ramirez Grand Theft.pdf, 1.7.15 Norris Grand Theft.pdf, 7.15.13 Maquilon Grand Theft Organized Fraud.pdf