Building Owner Pleads Guilty to Bribery
Dvir Derhy, 46, of Miami-Dade County, Florida, the owner of the Miami Office Center, which leases office space and manages property at a location known as the Flagler Building Downtown, entered a plea of guilty yesterday to one count of bribery.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and Rodolfo Llanes, Chief, City of Miami Police Department (MPD), made the announcement.
According to the factual proffer in support of his plea of guilty, Derhy owned and operated The Miami Office Center, which leased office space and managed property at, among others, the Flagler Building Downtown located at 223 East Flagler Street in Miami. The Flagler Building had been cited by the City of Miami Fire Department for violations because it had obstructed means of egress (some of its exits were blocked).
In June 2014, Derhy offered to pay a City of Miami fire inspector and building planner in order to remove the violation citations. On one such occasion, Derhy attempted to slip money into the fire inspector’s shirt pocket and stated that it was for a “donation to the City.”
On July 18, 2014, law enforcement agents conducted a recorded undercover operation at the Flagler Building in which one of them assumed the identity of a fire inspector and met with Derhy. A City of Miami fire inspector, as well as the undercover agent, met with Derhy to discuss the egress violations which stemmed from obstructed exit doors at the Flagler Building. During the meeting, Derhy offered a bribe payment to the fire inspector and the undercover officer by giving them an envelope that contained $10,000. In exchange for the money, the fire inspectors were supposed to “clear” (remove) the exit door violations from the property record without Derhy in fact fixing the problems cited in his violation notice. Additionally, Derhy would not be required to submit an approved plan and permit to modify and bring the Flagler Building up to code. The fire inspector and the undercover agent accepted Derhy’s offer and the envelope containing the $10,000.
On July 21, 2014, the undercover agent placed a call to Derhy, and told him that he had put together a plan of action for the violations at the Flagler Building. The undercover agent also stated that he could take care of the Certificate of Use that would be needed be for the property. The undercover agent told Derhy that they needed a work permit, and stated that he “could fix that on [his] end.” The undercover agent also indicated that there was a second issue that would require backdating paperwork.
Later that afternoon, the undercover agent and Derhy met at a pre-determined location and were recorded. During the meeting, Derhy paid the undercover agent an additional $3,000 in U.S. currency to “clear everything.” The undercover agent stated that he would “start making things happen, such as the prior approval, work permits, sketchings for fire, and a certificate of use.”
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke scheduled Derhy’s sentencing hearing for August 26, 2015. Derhy is subject to a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Derhy is also subject to a $250,000 fine and forfeiture in the amount of $13,000.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force and City of Miami Police Department Internal Affairs Section. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry C. Wallace, Jr.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.