Couple Accused of Haiti Fraud Declare Bankruptcy - NBC 6 South Florida

Couple Accused of Haiti Fraud Declare Bankruptcy

Claudio and Amarilis Osorio say they have just $2,000 and face monthly bills of $71,000 -- and at least five lawsuits

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    Couple Accused of Haiti Fraud Declare Bankruptcy
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    Claudio Osorio in an undated screengrab from YouTube.

    The glamorous Miami couple accused by investors of duping them for millions meant to build homes in Haiti have filed for personal bankruptcy.

    Claudio and Amarilis Osorio filed for Chapter 11 Friday, according to the Miami Herald, bookending a week filled with accusations of theft and fraud.

    Court papers show the Osorios claim $2,000 in cash, $71,000 in monthly bills, and no steady income.

    Though the pair listed $35 million in assets with $13.5 in liabilities, lawyers for their accusers point out that $20 million of the assets are now-worthless stock in the couple's shuttered venture InnoVida.

    Another asset, the Osorio's 8,699-square foot home on exclusive Star Island, was listed for $12 million, but it is heavily mortgaged and was last assigned a market value of just over $6 million by the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser.

    The Venezulan-born businessman and his wife are facing at least five lawsuits, including those by NBA star Carlos Boozer, Miami developer and lawyer Chris Korge, and New York City developer Ryan Freedman. 

    Each bought into InnoVida after being told the company would build a factory in Haiti that would produce 32,000 pre-fab and energy efficient cabins. NBA players Dwight Howard, Howard Eisley, and former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, who took a charitable trip to Haiti with Osorio, also invested.

    But the plans came to naught, and court-appointed lawyer Mark Meland said “the Osorios have provided no adequate explanation" of what happened to some $37.5 million the company claimed on tax papers in 2009.

    The Herald reports that during a deposition last Friday, Osorio invoked his fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination when asked if company funds had been used to pay personal expenses.

    The government of Switzerland, meanwhile, has acquired assistance from the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against Osorio. Authorities there say he fraudulently obtained $220 million in loans by lying about the success of Miami-based CHS Electronics, a former Fortune 500 company Osorio founded that declared banckruptcy in 2000.