Longtime Miami International Airport Contractor Charged With Theft

Authorities say a longtime contractor at the Miami International Airport has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past seven years.

The Miami Herald reports that Luis Alberto Ramirez was arrested this week and charged with organized scheme to defraud over $50,000 and grand theft of more than $100,000.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and the county's inspector general's office say Ramirez was running a scam from 2009 to 2015 where his company, Aviation Main Services Inc., was charging cargo carriers a certain fee for services, then misrepresenting what those services were to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.

Investigators say the difference added up to nearly $377,000 over those seven years.

Ramirez was being held on $10,000 bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney.

Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director Emilio Gonzalez released a statement Thursday saying he was grateful Ramirez was arrested.

"Since joining the Aviation Department three years ago, I have made it one of my top priorities to uncover and penalize any and all financial malfeasance at our airport. To that end, separate from the criminal investigation, the Aviation Department has already begun pursuing complete recovery of the underpaid amount," the statement said. "Arrests like the one today should send a strong message that the Aviation Department and our law enforcement partners are leaving no stone unturned in our search for both white-collar and common crime at MIA. The Aviation Department continues to fully support the prosecution in this case to see that this individual receives the most severe legal penalties possible."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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