NEW YORK. – The Rhode Island State Police announced Wednesday that they are investigating the Dominican real estate entrepreneur, Pedro Espinal for the issuance of a $ 85,000 check without funds issued to Fernando Tavares, intermediary in a transaction for the sale of a building to state assemblyman Anastasia Williams.
Investigators said Espinal, who is running for the second time as a councilor for District 10 (Ward 10) in North Providence, is investigated after attorney Clairol Rickers, a representative of the building’s owner in transaction, sent a letter to the Financial Crime Unit of the State Police, clarifying that it was Espinal who gave the fraudulent check and not Williams, as had been said in principle.
The property is located on the popular Broad Street in Providence, and the lawyer said Espinal issued the check knowing he didn’t have that money in the bank.
The check was returned by the bank branch, with a stamp that says “Rejected for insufficient funds.”
Espinal responded by saying that he met with Tavares and proposed an agreement to settle the debt, but the attempt was bounced by the affected.
Yesterday, Wednesday, the local Providence Journal published a copy of the check, noting that it was obtained from a source close to those involved in the failed transaction.
Espinal, was launched for the second time in search of being elected, after the president of the Providence Municipal Council, Luis Aponte, of Puerto Rican origin was convicted of stealing funds from his campaign, a total of $ 14,000 that he used in bill payments for Netflix and other pleasures, according to prosecutors.
The Dominican candidate said in an interview earlier this week that the problem was caused by a mistake in the bank and that there were sufficient funds in his account to cover it.
“It was a bank error,” he added. “The bank apologized.”
But Espinal owes the city of Providence $ 93,332 in unpaid taxes on four properties, three of which he owns in association with his wife, Clarisa Espinal, who requested that bankruptcy be granted privilege based on Chapter 13, in 2016.
Espinal said in the interview that the $ 85,000 check he issued to Tavares went to invest in the property on Broad Street.
Williams, a Democratic Assemblyman in Providence, filed a lawsuit against Tavares in August alleging that he excluded her from a parallel agreement in which he had to acquire the building.
Williams explained that he signed an agreement with Tavares that said the property would return to it as long as he paid Tavares the $ 85,000 and made all mortgage payments, insurance, taxes and other bills of the structure until June 30, 2021, but then Tavares withdrew from the agreement.
“It was Espinal and not Williams, who cut a $ 85,000 check on July 16, which was deposited by Tavares and returned for insufficient funds,” says his lawyer’s letter to the State Police.
According to Williams’ lawsuit, on July 19, Tavares told Espinal, who is named in the lawsuit as an associate of the plaintiff, that the check had bounced.
Williams told Tavares that the check bounced due to an error by Citizens Bank, according to the lawsuit.
The assemblywoman has refused to comment, alleging the ongoing litigation.
The assemblywoman said that the right to acquire the building was transferred to her by Nellie Francis, who was the successful bidder of the property in a foreclosure sale, but never closed the purchase.
When the original bid for the building expired, Tavares, who was the second highest bidder of the auction, acquired the building.
A promissory note filed at the town hall shows that the balance of $ 239,000 of a loan granted to the previous owners of the building by the Providence Business Loan Fund was transferred to the Tavares company.
The company, Broad Street Properties, has been making monthly payments of $ 1,000 to pay off the property loan, according to Thomas Hoagland, director of the financial entity.
At the time of the sale of the property to Tavares, there were two other outstanding checks, for $ 83,600, that represented loans secured by the second and third mortgage that Tavares gave to the previous owner of the building, Hoagland said.
The $ 85,000 fundless check is subscribed to “1007 Investments, 1408 Broad Street.
According to the Rhode Island State Corporation Department database, Espinal created the company “1007 Investments” on July 11 of this year.
The company’s address is building 1408 on Broad Street.
The mayor of the state police Timothy Sanzi confirmed Wednesday that the uniformed officer is investigating the check issued by Espinal and that the investigation is ongoing, so he could not offer more details.
“It is ongoing,” he said.