Bruce and Shawn Chait, the father-and-son builders accused of extorting an actual property rival out of greater than $500,000, had their bond lower to only over $1 million every Tuesday.
The Chaits are going through anyplace from 12 years to the remainder of their lives in jail, accused of forcing rival developer Arnaud Karsenti, proprietor of thirteenth Ground Investments, to fork over funds in change for withholding allegations that Tamarac land owned by thirteenth Ground is environmentally tainted.
No proof of such tainting has been introduced, however attorneys for Bruce Chait, 72, and his son Shawn, 47, implied at a listening to Tuesday that the proof exists and will likely be part of their protection towards the extortion allegations.
Bond for the Chaits was initially set at $10.5 million every. Broward Circuit Choose Edward Merrigan lowered it by 90 p.c every, to $1,050,000.
Karsenti issued an announcement after the Chaits had been charged, denying something was improper together with his property.
“thirteenth Ground Properties undertook the suitable regulatory overview course of and … went by numerous rounds of environmental testing, and solely started transferring possession of properties as soon as the land met all relevant regulatory requirements and earned a clear invoice of well being from Broward County and impartial engineers,” he mentioned in his written assertion.
“On account of our intensive efforts hand-in-hand with Broward County, the Manor Parc property is secure for residential dwelling, and any declare on the contrary is unfounded and frivolous.”
Prosecutors say the Chaits had been behind two lawsuits filed towards Karsenti alleging environmental issues at their Tamarac properties, and attorneys for the Chaits say no counteractions have been filed alleging these lawsuits don’t have any authorized benefit.
The property on the heart of the dispute was as soon as owned by the Chaits however was bought by Karsenti by the monetary establishment that held the word on the Chaits’ mortgage, in line with prosecutors.
It additionally was the topic of multiple corruption allegations against public officials accused of taking cash from the Chaits in change for allow and different land-use approvals.