Leading Lobbyist Bankrupt: Owes Over $10 Mil

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

 

George I. Platt, one of Broward’s leading lobbyists for a generation, has filed for bankruptcy claiming over $10 million in debts.

The bankruptcy has resulted in a lawsuit against Platt accusing him of hiding assets and making false statements to obtain a $2 million loan in 2012.

The reason for the bankruptcy: Like many real estate investors, Platt found himself over his head when the recession hit South Florida in the middle of the last decade.

“I was involved in three real estate loans related to businesses I owned a part of,” Platt told Browardbeat.com. “These businesses went South in the recession.”

 

UnknownGeorge I. Platt

 

 

Two business loans involved building projects that collapsed. The third loan involved Platt’s now-defunct wetlands mitigation business.

Platt said he had settled two of the loans and was negotiating settlement of the third.

The unresolved loan triggered a lawsuit involving Platt’s former wetlands mitigation business. Platt’s companies offered developers the preservation, enhancement, restoration or creation of wetlands to offset the impact of their projects on nearby land.

The business was lucrative until the recession.

Platt was always perfectly positioned to invest in the real estate development business.

As a lawyer/lobbyist, Platt represented dozens of builders and huge projects from the 1980s to today.

Platt burst on the scene as a Democratic activist in the 1970s and since then has consistently been considered one of Broward County’s most influential insiders.

He was a Broward County Commissioner from 1978-1980. In 1984, Platt was elected to a four-year term as Broward Democratic Party chair.

He followed that with a term as Broward County’s Democratic state committeeman from 1996-2000 and the Florida Democratic Party’s treasurer in 2000, the year of the controversial presidential recount.

He also served on the Broward Performing Arts Center Authority, raised money for Florida Atlantic University, and served on various committees promoting downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Through it all, Platt has lobbied for some of the biggest firms and individuals doing business with the county, such as Coral Ridge Properties, taxi tycoon Jesse Gaddis and construction companies seeking to build the Broward Convention Center and expand the airport.

The bankruptcy was filed October 2014. Platt claimed assets up to $10 million and debts between $10 and $50 million.

“When people sue you for $10 million and you don’t have it, that’s what the bankruptcy laws are for,” Platt said.

Shortly after the bankruptcy was filed, he also was sued in federal court by BBX Capital Asset Management, a firm owed money by Platt.

BBX seeks to block discharge of its debt in the bankruptcy.

According to the allegations in the suit:

BBX loaned Platt’s Florida Wetlands partnership $1.998 million in March, 2012.

To obtain the loan, Platt and his wife filled out a joint financial statement.

After Platt filed bankruptcy, BBX allegedly discovered that Platt’s “financial information provided to BBX by (Platt) in the 2012 Joint Financial Statement and 2013 Joint Financial Statement was false.”

BBX further alleges in the suit that a $550,000 note/receivable in the financial statement was “valueless.” It says another $125,000 note Platt claimed was transferred to another trust, which Platt and his wife are the beneficiaries.

Platt valued art, antiques, jewelry and other property in his bankruptcy at $20,000, but claimed in the BBX statement that the property was worth $370,000, the suit alleges.

“The Debor (Platt) made false oaths,” the suit contends.

Platt said this suit is close to being resolved.

The lobbyist is currently is registered to represent more than 30 clients before the Broward County Commission, including Humana, Stiles Construction, red light camera company American Traffic Solutions and numerous firms doing business at Port Everglades and the airport.

“This (bankruptcy) hasn’’t been reflected in my personal life at all,” Platt said.

 

 

 



14 Responses to “Leading Lobbyist Bankrupt: Owes Over $10 Mil”

  1. Its a Bankers World says:

    BBX and its leadership were recently found guilty of for securities fraud and accounting fraud by making false statements about the quality of BankAtlantic’s loan portfolio during an investor conference call in 2007. The bankers fleeced us all during the recession and got huge bailouts while the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2015/03/11/bbx-levan-lose-motion-to-overturn-jurys-civil.html

  2. Don't bother to spin says:

    Is this George Platt that has declared bankruptcy the same person making political contributions to: ??

    http://www.browardsoe.org/CFFilingDetail.aspx?type=contribution&file_id=5846

    http://www.browardsoe.org/CFFilingDetail.aspx?type=contribution&file_id=5439

    http://www.coconutcreek.net/docs/default-source/clerkdocs/joshua-rydell-feb-2-21-to-3-5-g7-report.pdf?sfvrsn=0

    If this is the same person, he needs to begin a new business strategy: Pay company’s bills first before donating to political campaigns! He might avoid bankruptcy in the future.

  3. Broward Voter says:

    George is a good man. Hopefully this situation will be resolved soon.

  4. The Guess Who says:

    @2. Don’t bother to spin

    The first one is George Platt that is referenced in this article. The second two are almost certainly from his son Seth, who’s first name is also George. The difference is the occupation listed, George is an attorney, Seth is not and lists himself as a Consultant or in Government Relations.

  5. Oh boy says:

    Speaking of Seth, will he have to earn a living outside of riding his dad’s name and reputation. I mean he is in his 40s and allows himself to be referred to as Baby Platt. Maybe that nickname should be changed to Baby Flat as in flat broke.

  6. Sam the Sham says:

    if it was anybody else, he would be in jail for fraud.

  7. Mighty D says:

    It is well known that George was always risking huge sums of money to “bet” on real estate. He lost this “bet” like so many others in 2005

  8. Anonymous says:

    Anne Platt likes to spend

  9. Talks like a politician says:

    Just another cog in the ever turning wheel of “lobby, lie, scam, repeat” that runs Broward County. No surprise here.

  10. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    This is another shady character. I told the Rodstroms alot of their freinds are using them over trhe years to work their magic for them. including the Grand wizard-Bill scherer. Oh you better perform next month(april state sup. Court). I am a one man show. I am not motivated by money. I refuse to lose. And if push comes to shuff, well than push comes to shuff. (Ps. to my mobster asc. make no mistake I’ll go after your wifes….). I am better than them…(huh Bern)….

  11. Dear Robert says:

    I understand you claim to, refuse to lose, but what have you ever won politically in this town?

  12. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    The plural of wife is wives. So much for the educational level of self appointed advisors to elected officials

  13. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Listen to #11, #12. You are a “Huffa” both of you. No self-appointed titles for me Mr.Rosenthal(Count). Speaking of this #12 why don’t you tell the viewers what happened to you @ Miami Beach City Hall and comm.(hmmmm)….Your a mess and I stand corrected…..

  14. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    The people involved in slandering me AFTER I MOVEd To FORr LAUDERDALE were rejected by the voters, fired, forced out or went to JAIL or in the worst case found rooting in an apartment a lobbyist finagled for him. Derner –after I raised a stink about his illegal conduct was rejected in favor of victor Diaz for a commission appointment. And you are getting your info from some like yourself with an arrest record in the fort Lauderdale city hall