He owns a worldwide resort chain. On Monday, he checked into a Miami jail

Miami Herald 8 months ago

Luis Riu Guell owns a renowned Spanish company that runs more than 100 hotels in 19 countries, including resorts in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and South Beach.

On Monday, Riu checked in for a stay in a Miami-Dade jail.

Riu surrendered Monday to face allegations that he doled out free and luxury resort stays to Miami Beach’s top building official in exchange for help with the company’s large-scale renovation of its South Beach hotel.

After flying in from Spain, Riu walked into a Miami-Dade courtroom on Monday to be handcuffed and processed. His stay behind bars won’t be long. He will be allowed to post a $20,000 bond, and can travel from his home in Mallorca, Spain, to resorts around the world.

“His travel is extensive. He’s constantly on the road,” his defense attorney, Barry Wax, told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto.

Prosecutors last week charged Miami Beach’s former building official, Mariano Fernandez, as well as Riu and the company’s regional vice president, Alejandro Sanchez del Arco. RIU’s Florida subsidiary was also charged.

They are all charged with unlawful compensation and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation. Sanchez also surrendered on Monday.

“We are confident that our clients have committed no crime whatsoever,” Wax told reporters after his client was led away in handcuffs.

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