Interior Designer Accused of Stealing Funds from Multi-Million Dollar Miami Waterfront Project

NBC Universal, Inc.

Interior designer Jeffrey Barone is facing 14 counts of 1st degree grand theft and one count of organized scheme to defraud, after allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the budget of a multi-million dollar Miami project.

Barone's company, Bonafida Design, was working on the Riverside Miami project two years ago. At the time, the lot was being developed to feature restaurants and entertainment venues in the Brickell area of Miami.

According to an arrest report, the Riverside Miami project had an estimated budget of over $900 million, but a written contract between 59-year-old Baron and his client was not signed.

However, Barone still allegedly received check payments.

Over the course of 12 months, Barone asked his client for funds to purchase fixtures, furniture, plywood, concrete, tabletops, chairs lighting and large containers, according to the report.

Investigators say the bank account that was receiving the funds belonged to Barone, but no purchases of materials or equipment were made.

Barone was confronted by his client about stealing funds after a walkthrough of the project showed little to no progress a year after Barone's work began, according to the report.

In total, Barone is accused of stealing over $700,000 from his client.

On Tuesday, a judge set Barone's total bond at $165,000 with the surrender of his passport. If Barone bonds out, he has to show the bond money is coming from a legitimate source and not from the allegedly stolen money.

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