WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Sunday, June 22, 2008

RICARDO CORONA REPLIES

UPDATE: (off blog) Rest In Peace George Carlin. You made us laugh. GEORGE CARLIN

The NY Times calls him "Splenetic" ( a word we've never used)
HERE

Before we get to Mr. Corona's response, longtime and careful readers of the blog will note the addition on the side panel. Through intensive work and negotiations with the chaps at Google, we now bring you our favourite blogs, with a "snippet" of the latest entry. You will note that the order of the list will change with the blog with the most current update at the top of the list.


All part of the service we who labour here seek to provide to you, our dear readers.


A belated "thank you" to Broward Columnist Mike Mayo who reprinted (with our permission) our Reply to Mike Mayo "Welcome to Our World" in its entirety on his blog
HERE


On with the show:
Ricardo Corona :
Kindly post this on your blog.
There was never any allegation of money laundering at Sunshine State Bank. I HAVE NEVER LAUNDERED MONEY OR FINANCED ANY DRUG TRANSACTION AND CHALLENGE ANYONE TO PROVE OTHERWISE. I have never been indicted or entered into any plea or cooperation agreement. I have the detailed Order/Findings from the Administrative Law Judge, a 100 page document, that goes through each allegation of the FDIC which involved me and/or the bank and bears this out. This was a separate proceeding from the criminal case involving my brother and father (I was not a part of that criminal proceeding). The administrative law judge took testimony from dozens of witnesses and created a 14,000 page record of the proceedings. The ALJ decision was never published because the proceedings were confidential at the time and includes details of customers, etc. That Decision is 24 years old and I am willing to share it with you.
It is unfair that you allow unsubstantiated anonymous allegations of money laundering and criminal charges against me. If the author of these posts is related to my opponent it would be a breach of ethics to use these lies and your blog to circulate this. I ask that you require a post of this kind to substantiate these charges prior to posting and/or identify him/herself so that you do not collude with the unethical and actionable circulation of these false and libelous charges.
I have been in business here for close to 40 years. I have developed property for over 200 residential units, owned supermarkets that had sales in excess of $100 million, employed several hundred individuals and had scores of suppliers not to mention my banking experience. My family built and operated several local banks aside from Sunshine and we provided financing for many of the businesses and business leaders that are the foundation of this community. Any and all lawsuits and legal issues that I have been involved with were reviewed and scrutinized by the Florida Bar before I was admitted. They obviously found no issue in any of those proceedings that negatively impacts my character. I applied to the Bar after all these issues that are being discussed took place.
I did not run or wither when I stood and fought the federal government. Whoever thinks that I will wither, run or not fight now has grossly underestimated me.
As you like to say, see you in court.
Ricardo Corona



40 comments:

old guy said...

Yeah - you sound like someone who belongs in the Judiciary.

I can hardly wait until I get to appear before you.

Anonymous said...

I am still wondering if Corona really was not part of the problem.

FAKE ELKIND said...

I'M FIRST!!
SOMEBODY CALL THE Q!!!!!!

A state candidate vying to represent a large section of Miami and Miami Beach in Tallahassee was arrested over the weekend for driving under the influence, according to Miami-Dade corrections records.

Christopher Norwood, 35, an attorney and community activist running for the State House Seat in District 109, was booked into the county jail Sunday morning after being stopped by police as he drove north on the 300 block of Ocean Boulevard in Golden Beach, officials said.

A Breathalyzer test was administered. He was being held on a $1,000 bond, according to jail records.

fake pannunzio said...

Yo Rumpole. I don't know beans about banking but I'll say this for that Corona Dude- his family brews some fine beers!

I've had mucho toasty times with some cold Coronas and bikini babes. A twist a lime, and I'm fine. Buzzed and chillin. Keep it up Coronoa Dude.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the incomparable Gail Levine re: the prosecution and ultimate conviction of Wadada Saife Delhall.

Ms. Levine protects all of you. Don't fool yourself.

Not such a nice guy Mr. Delhall....not going to lie to you folks.

The State frowns upon executing government witnesses. Believe you me.

Anonymous said...

If you watch Manny's home made video with his wife, you will see her roll her eyes immediately at the start.

This guy does not even have the support of his wife and we are supposed to support him?

Check it out at www.mannysegarra.com

I am rollin on the floor laughing at the generic videos.

disappointed said...

What jumps out for me is how plain and not so persuasively written Mr. Corona's defense is. It is a far cry from what I would expect a learned judge would produce. It is pedestrian at best. Barely lawerly. Putting aside all the issues he may have been involved in, is this the best and brightest Dade has to offer for the bench?

Another mediocre judicial candidiate.

Anonymous said...

disappointed: corona was responding to anonymous pu$$ies on a blog who are too scared to post their name. Are you really expecting a legal brief for his response to the same three losers who attack anonymously?

Rump: maybe its time you consider requiring the name of a poster who alleges criminal acts on others. If u want to allow people to make fun of mannys wifes rolling eyes on his you tube video fine, but have some class and require a name when accusing people of federal crimes. That seems reasonable.

What say you?

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or is Scott Fingerhut's Myspace and Faxcebook pages, which list "my blogs" and links to this blog, a mite suspicious?

Any comment HSF?

Rumpole said...

I should not allow anonymous posts that accuse someone of criminal acts.

This Corona issue is borderline because of his involvement (family ownership) with a bank, of which some members were accused (were any convicted?) of crimes, and his current political campaign.

Let me put it to you this way: If Mr. Corona was running for President, or senator, or mayor, wouldn't these issues be brought up? So why not now?

He was given full opportunity to respond, and did so very well today.

I view these accusations different in context then if someone accused some candidate of battery, domestic violence, etc., without a scintilla of evidence.

I am open to having this issue debated further.

Anonymous said...

corona is a great guy

Anonymous said...

I don't think his campaign signs are not in compliance.
They don't use the word "elect."
They don't list his group.
And the part about 'circuit court' is so small that I wan't even sure it was there.
What say you, Mr. Corona?

South Florida Lawyers said...

Rumpy, neat widget on the side, I like it.

RIP Carlin indeed. His voice and wit will be missed as we get ready for the 08 election cycle.

Anonymous said...

Rick Corona is a true gentleman. He is much more experienced than his opponent and, knowing them both, has the better temperament. There is a lot more to being a judge than knowing how to do legal research--which is probably less important than having been exposed to and dealing with the day-to-day things that happen in court.

I think you were a bit unfair to allow the disparaging remarks about Rick.

Former colleague

Anonymous said...

Rick and his daughter are great people. On the other hand, abby, you and your husband are about the two most boring people i have ever spoken with. And have you ever tried a single jury trial???? how can a person hope to be a great trial judge if he/she has never tried a case? What a joke.

Anonymous said...

rump, you make a good point that these issues may arise if corona were running for bigger office. The difference is that people with names and reputations to think off ask the questions, not an anonymous blog poster.

I'm all for transparency in govt and finding out about those running for office, but not for borderline accusations by anonymous posters on a blog.

Anonymous said...

Loved Rick's assurances that he won't "wither".... Not sure that is a judicial qualification, though. Do we really need a "Corona Lite" on the bench?

Anonymous said...

Rick,

Was Thursday's Daily Business Review article wrong when it printed:

"A candidate for Miami-Dade circuit judge was permanently barred from the banking profession by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after running a bank acquired with drug money two decades ago.

Before he was a lawyer, Ricardo Corona was executive vice president and director of the now-defunct Sunshine State Bank, which his family acquired in 1978 with secret backing from Miami drug dealer Jose Antonio Fernandez, according to court documents."

Was Thursday's Daily Business Review article wrong when it printed that:

According to the FDIC, while you were the executive vice president and director of Sunshine State Bank, 47 percent of Sunshine’s loans were misclassified, and its bad loans represented 581 percent of the bank’s capital reserves.

We look forward to you explaining.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Abby and her husband, but find the comment about they're being "boring" very amusing. Frankly, Miami can use a "boring" judge who doesn't hammer attorneys in court, isn't looking for his or her own TV show, and isn't trying to raise a ruckus. These days "boring" is a good thing.

BTDT

Micky for Miss USA said...

400 photos is a bunch to fish through...But, if any of you really want to see something SPECIAL...check out the pictures of Micky Ratzin (hint: she is wearing a splendid greed dress) that Rick posted - oh my God!

Here is the link to Rick's photos from the FACDL banquet.

www.kodakgallery.com/facdl-miami

Anonymous said...

Ricardo Corona, since you are running for judge, we should know the truth for the following. Please answer:

1. Was last Thursday's Business Review article correct when it stated that you are “permanently barred from the banking profession by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after running a bank acquired with drug money?”

2. Are you really permanently barred from the banking profession and was the bank acquired with drug money?

3. Was last Thursday’s Business Review article correct when it stated that you were “the executive vice president and director of the now-defunct Sunshine State Bank, which your family acquired with secret backing from Miami drug dealer Jose Antonio Fernandez?”

4. Why did you remain as the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank after you found out that it was acquired with drug money?

5. What did the drug dealer get in return for backing your family’s purchase of the bank that you were the director and executive vice president of?

6. Was last Thursday's Business Review article correct when it stated that “according to the FDIC, while you were the executive vice president and director of Sunshine State Bank, 47 percent of Sunshine’s loans were misclassified, and its bad loans represented 581 percent of the bank’s capital reserves?”

7. If 100 percent of a banks capital reserves are bad loans, isn’t a bank bankrupt?

8. While you were the director and executive vice president of the bank, how can the bank have its bad loans represent 581 percent of its capital reserves?

9. While you were the director and executive vice president, how could 47 percent of the bank loans be misclassified?

10. Was the movie Cocaine Cowboys correct, was the Sunshine State Bank raided by the Federal Government (DEA and FBI)?

11. Were you the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank when it was raided by the Federal Government?

12. Did anyone go to prison pertaining to the Sunshine State Bank and, if so, who and for what?

Carolina Corona said...

After reading what people have said about my father I feel I should respond.

When he chose to run for judge he was concerned about this very thing happening and particularly how it would affect me.
I feel ultimately protective of him and think that he is being treated unfairly by people who do not know him and are only partly informed about events that occurred in the past.

To all those who are not convinced that he is a man of integrity that would be fair and even-tempered on the bench, I invite you to meet him and speak to him for a few minutes.

My brothers and I are proud and honored to call him our father. He has been a good example for me, encouraging me to go to law school and to become a prosecutor. He has worked hard to get to where he is now. He went to law school while working full time at his family owned supermarket and raising and supporting a family of 6.

I think that the community would benefit from having a person like him on the judiciary.

Carolina Corona

Anonymous said...

do not know about the rest of the criminal defense bar, but I would rather have a judge who has endured the experience of being the subject or target of a government inquisition, than a virgin, who sees the world - and the case - through the jaundice lense of the prosecution! How about it guys? Food for though, would you rather present a motion to suppress or dismiss for governmental misconduct to someone like Frank Quintero who knows and experienced first hand, not vicariously, the extent to which the government will go when it targets you, or a prosecutor is a robe, like some we have in the building, and many who the JNC promotes? Just a thought, any comments!

Anonymous said...

Rump
So what. It aint news and it dont make a bit of difference. All the banks here in Viceland of MIAMI in the 80s had drug money in them. How many clubs like THE MUTINY or Menege and the rest before SoBe owed their livelyhood to washed money. Lots of respected Attorneys represented lots of ' the guys' , here in Miami in the 80s. Janet Reno's money tested positive for coc residue when she was State Attorney, according to a Herald article of the time, detailing the heavy conection to Miami banking and the Drug trade. . I not saying Ms. Reno had anything to do with drugs, except partnering with Bennett and Judge Goldstein to set up Drug Court, the point is that back then drug money was everywhere and non drugies got tainted by accident along w/ the washers. Look at how Ben K is getting screwed and its easy to see a guy go down for no other reason then his Brother messed up . I've dealt with Rick and he has always seemed to be an upright guy.
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

Abby Cynamon is very bright but lacks common sense and would make a terrible judge. Can't imagine her maintaining control over a packed courtroom during a C sounding, forcing the state and defense to get cases ready for trial, etc. Corona is not a dream candidate, but he will be a better judge.

Anonymous said...

Ricardo Corona is a commendable individual who should not be persecuted by insidious remarks about an issue that occurred several years ago and did not pertain directly to him. He has all the qualifications to be a judge and perhaps more so due to his past experiences

Anonymous said...

Ricardo Corona,

You said that your "will not run or wither" Please answer the questions:

1. Was last Thursday's Business Review article correct when it stated that you are “permanently barred from the banking profession by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after running a bank acquired with drug money?”

2. Are you really permanently barred from the banking profession and was the bank acquired with drug money?

3. Was last Thursday’s Business Review article correct when it stated that you were “the executive vice president and director of the now-defunct Sunshine State Bank, which your family acquired with secret backing from Miami drug dealer Jose Antonio Fernandez?”

4. Why did you remain as the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank after you found out that it was acquired with drug money?

5. What did the drug dealer get in return for backing your family’s purchase of the bank that you were the director and executive vice president of?

6. Was last Thursday's Business Review article correct when it stated that “according to the FDIC, while you were the executive vice president and director of Sunshine State Bank, 47 percent of Sunshine’s loans were misclassified, and its bad loans represented 581 percent of the bank’s capital reserves?”

7. If 100 percent of a banks capital reserves are bad loans, isn’t a bank bankrupt?

8. While you were the director and executive vice president of the bank, how can the bank have its bad loans represent 581 percent of its capital reserves?

9. While you were the director and executive vice president, how could 47 percent of the bank loans be misclassified?

10. Was the movie Cocaine Cowboys correct, was the Sunshine State Bank raided by the Federal Government (DEA and FBI)?

11. Were you the director and executive vice president of Sunshine State Bank when it was raided by the Federal Government?

12. Did anyone go to prison pertaining to the Sunshine State Bank and, if so, who and for what?

Anonymous said...

11:06:00 AM, those fakies are so gross, dude. Cmon now.

Anonymous said...

Rick is the CBS4 story and your interview by Jim DeFede correct?

MIAMI (CBS4) ― June 24, 2008

Rick Corona "has experience with some of South Florida's biggest drug smugglers, thanks to his years at Sunshine State Bank, one of Miami's most notorious financial institutions.

Corona's brother Ray bought the bank in 1978 with money supplied to him by Tony Fernandez, a legendary drug smuggler. Fernandez brought more than 1.5 million pounds of marijuana into the United States. After Ray Corona took control of the bank, Rick Corona became a bank director and its executive vice president."

"The public record shows that Rick's brother Ray was indicted and convicted on racketeering charges in the mid-1980s.

The federal government said the Coronas engaged in "unsafe and unsound banking practices, violations of law and regulations, and breaches of fiduciary duties evidencing a willful or continuing disregard for the bank's safety and soundness.""

"The federal government banned Rick Corona from ever working for any banking institution ever again.

In addition to knowing Tony Fernandez, Corona also admits he was friends with big-time cocaine smugglers Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta."

Jim DeFede responded "To that, I'd add: only in Miami would a judicial candidate think his checkered past works to his advantage."

Anonymous said...

Mr Corona was not charged with anything. If he did something illegal, with all the investigations and the allegations, I'm sure he would have at least been charged with some criminal act. Also, since when are things that are published in the newspaper facts?

How about the fact that after being barred from banking he was admitted into lawschool and was able to pass the bar?

The man went to lawschool at a much older age than others and was still able to maintain his job and his family. Rick has my vote

Anonymous said...

Jim DeFede interviewed Rick Corona on June 24, 2008, to give Corona a chance to explain. The link the interview is:

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/cbs4s-jim-defede-on-rick-coronas-judicial-run/1937724174

After interviewing Corona, Jim DeFede said:
"I asked him when did he know that Sunshine State Bank was bought with Drug Money. He knew I was coming to ask him this. I did not ambush him. He never answered."

CBS4 Anchor: "What was most noticable was his long pause after you asked him"

Jim DeFede: "The Federal Government has banned him from any banking or financial institution.
Since the Federal Government said that his judgment is unsound for the banking position, why sould his judgment be part of the judicial branch?"

Rafael Corona said...

As Ricardo Corona father I am entitled to my comments, despite his advice to the contrary.

There were other banks than Sushine. TotalBank, recently sold for zillions, was nicknamed by some as the Funeral Parlor because it was full of "Coronas" (Spanish for Wreath). In addition to Ricardo there you could deal with Ray, Raul, Roque, Buster or myself. At all levels from Chairman to international clerk.

Ricardo's real beginning in banking was at the Bank of Miami where he started as auto loan collector when he was 14 years old. that's how he met some of our present community leaders.

I am proud of my seven children and respectivc in-laws that suffered, survived and recovered after the unfair inquisition to which we were submitted .

If you want to learn the truth about Sunshine, go to the Court records. The bank was purchased for less than 3 million dollars from the Harrisons of Coconut Grove Bank. The funds for the purchase came from the following fully disclosed sources: A reputable Honduran meat exporter, 40%. Myself 20% with funds from my liquidation at TotalBank and the balance of 40% from the owner of Panama's leading investing company (Samos/Robles), also an investor in the Miami Free Trade Zone.

The claim was that Jose Antonio Fernandez, a marijuana dealer, had provided the funds for the Samos/Robles investment. Yes, that's it. Other than that the prosecution admitted that the Bank was clean of any money laundering or illegal acts of any kind.

Besides other qualifications a judge has to have a heart. If Ricardo's opponent or any of her advisors had anything to do with this extemporaneous and cruel revival of a tragedy that was unknown to most of my 16 grandchildren, many of which had not been born, then I leave it to your judgement and their conscience

Anonymous said...

I found the book that the Daily Business Review referred to in its article The Big Fix, Inside the S & L Scandal. The entire Chapter 7 in The Big Fix is about the Coronas and the Sunshine State Bank.

Page 129, of The Big Fix, states that "Ray's father, Rafael, knew of another bank, the Sunshine State Bank in South Miami."

The book then continues in detail about Tony "Fernandez brought Ray Corona and Steven Samos into his master bedroon and opened a safe. He stated stacking bundles of bills on his bed until the three had counted out the million plus. They quickly filled a suitcase with the wads of twenties and hundreds and had a mound left over. (The drug world considers that a full-sized Samsonite suitcase will hold half a million dollars in twenties.) Tony went to the kitchen and returned with a cardboard box. The rest of the money filled this box."

Rafael was installed as chairman of Sunshine State Bank.

Florida fisherman said...

The Ricardo Corona I know takes inner-city kids to prestigious fishing tournaments in Miami and the Bahamas. Ricardo for years focused on revitalizing Overtown. He opened up a grocery store, flower business and an office for for a trading company there when nobody would even dream of driving through it. The employees were all local residents, Ricardo pride in this beautiful inner-city community is proudly displayed on his boat the "In Court" which list his home port as "Over town". Those who fish for excerpts from inaccurate writings in books or news articles and them use them out of context obviously do not know Ricardo. Ricardo is a person of tremendous character, ethics and courage. He has my vote!

Anonymous said...

Whoever is wondering if Ricardo Corona was part of the problem at Sunshine State Bank, I can tell you he was not. I know because I was part of Sunshine State Bank, I worked with the Coronas at Totalbank and then at Sunshine. Unfortunately the Corona Family was the envy to many people who wanted to see this family destroyed. Ricardo’s father, Rafael Corona, is a man of integrity who taught his sons and daughters well; he was followed by his four sons to buy Sunshine, but after several years, the dream of many to see this family shattered, became a reality. It's a real shame that after 28 years since Sunshine closed, there are still people wondering in our community if Rick Corona should be elected judge. Why don’t you look yourselves in a mirror and really say if any of you have never done anything wrong in your life. Pray to God that you never have to face the terrible ordeal of seeing a family member involved in taking drugs. I feel delighted to see Corona running for judge.

Anonymous said...

He is part of the problem of Dade county, his advertisement crap is laying all over the streets of North Miami.

Anonymous said...

It's the truth.

Also true: Corona's leadership at his family's Sunshine State Bank earned him a lifetime ban from the banking industry thanks to millions of dollars in shady loans and startup money from a drug smuggler.

And yes, he wants to enforce the law

Anonymous said...

I know Ricardo Corona since 1986 when he hired me at one of the supermarket he used to own. I know of his brother/father case and I can say that "Corona" as we used to call him is a person I can say I admire. He might not remember me - Martica from Tropical :-)

Anonymous said...

Same thing Noriega says

Bob Arnold Jr. said...

I have been reading this blog for years and just could not take it any longer....So here goes....I was fortunate to have been friends with the entire Corona family since the early 70's, when we were kids growing up in Coral Gables, having attended Gables High and participated on the swimming and waterpolo teams with Raul, Roque and Lily and later working at both Totalbank (a bank that the Corona's started in a temporary trailer at the corner of 27th Avenue and Coral Way while the building was constructed nearby and that others later made billions from all the Corona's hard work....so much so that when I pass by the performing arts center in Downtown Miami, the name I see on the building is Rafael Corona and Family) and Sunshine State Bank directly
for Ricardo's brother Ray as Head of Collections (same job Ricardo did for his dad at Bank of Miami when he was in junior high.. a job that Ricardo mentored me) I also knew and worked with many of the people that Law EnforcementFDIC,Local/National/International news organizations and many people on this blog (most of which have no idea what they are talking about) attempted to
associate with Sunshine State Bank and
Ricardo Corona including Johnny Fernandez,
Sal Magulta, Willie Falcon, Orlando Lorenzo and others. No evidence existed then or now to show that any of this was connected to Ricardo in any way. (Regardless of the
outcome in court this goes for Ray as well) I
can tell you first hand he never was involved
and never will be. He has accomplished more
in Miami/ Overtown then all of the hating people on this blog put together, attending law school and raising a family simultaneously. I
wish I could have been just 1% of the man and person Ricardo turned out to be. Im not...but I can still set the record straight and I am proud to be able to call him a friend and know that
the citizens of Miami Dade County really missed the boat by not electing him as a judge...he would be one of our finest! it is our loss for sure! One final thought...Rafeal Corona and family have contributed as much or more to Miami Dade County Busineess and Community than
any family you could name. So many major businesses owe everything they have become to the financing they received from the Corona Family at Bank of Miami, Totalbank and Sunshine State Bank. All you haters crawl back under your rocks and pray to god that your children and your children's children will contribute a fraction of what the entire Corona Family and Ricardo Corona have to this community! BTW why do so many people on this blog hide behind anonymous?