In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week, Miami-Dade County will be reviewing all contracts to ensure that none are connected to Russian business interests of any kind, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
Levine Cava issued a memo Tuesday that ordered all county department directors to conduct a complete review.
“As the world continues to monitor Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, Miami-Dade County stands in solidarity with the people facing the effects of this unprovoked war,” Levine Cava said. “In a community like ours – built by immigrants and refugees fleeing from all corners of the globe in search of a better life, peace and democracy – we have always extended a hand to help those who come to us in need."
South Florida’s Russian connection extends from businesses to real estate and that could be directly impacted by sanctions imposed on Russian assets in the U.S.
"For example, a Russian person. That person’s condo, aircraft can be seized at any moment by the U.S. government," Ed Patricoff, partner at Duane Morris Law Firm said.
Patricoff specializes in asset forfeiture. He said these types of sanctions have taken place before against countries like Venezuela.
"The proposed sanctions are similar to sanctions seen in the past," Patricoff said.
Wealthy Russians that can be linked to the Kremlin could have their assets frozen in the U.S. and that could have a trickle effect.
In Sunny Isles, where about 8% of residents speak Russian as their first language, realtor Jose Lima said he noticed a transaction that took longer than normal, a wire transfer for an $18,000 a month rental.
“This is from the past week they start doing that,” Lima said. “Usually money gets here in a few hours, most one day. This is my first case the money was kept for a while.”
Lima believes it’s related to the U.S. government taking a closer look at money coming in from Russians.
The wire transfer took multiple days but once the money was verified. It was approved.
“All the money coming now, they’re being careful,” Lima said.
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