Glenn Wright Charged, Tied to Rothstein Rabbi

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Wright 
Thumbnail image for kaplanrabbi.jpg
Kaplan
Developer Glenn Wright, whose firm was involved in the Cindi Hutchinson scandal that blew up Friday, was charged today with stealing $20,000 from the homeowners association of one of his upscale housing developments.

Wright allegedly used the stolen money to help Rabbi Schneur Kaplan close on property for the Downtown Jewish Center. Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein was also very close to Kaplan and helped finance the construction of the chabad.

The last time I saw Kaplan, he was dancing ecstatically on a boat in the Winterfest Boat Parade. He's been accused of no wrongdoing other than having a penchant for becoming the spiritual leader of high-profile thieves and rapscallions.

Wright's arrest report states that Wright came to Kaplan seeking "spiritual advisement." From the arrest report filed by BSO Det. Michael Johnson (who also made the Hutchinson case):

"Kaplan stated Wright was generous with donations and arranged a monthly $1,000 payment to be made to Kaplan through one of Wright's subcontractors, Hector Heguaburo. In November 2006, Kaplan was in the process of purchasing a new building for the Downtown Jewish Center and did not have enough funds to close on the property. In the days leading up to the closing, Kaplan stated he called Glenn Wright and requested $20,000 for this purpose."

Wright agreed and plucked $20,000 from the La Preserve HOA over which he and his wife, Patricia, still presided, according to BSO. Kaplan said Wright told him to pick up the check from Wright's project manager, Steven Goldstrom, but he thought it might have been delivered directly to Rothstein Rosenfeld Adler law firm, which was handling the closing. The check was written to the RRA IOTA account.

Kaplan repaid the "loan" in March 2008 when Patricia Wright called him and said they needed the money back.

When questioned by Johnston, Wright said he had no recollection of writing the check, which had his signature. Patricia Wright said she learned that the $20,000 was "mistakenly" given to the rabbi and that she got it back when she learned of it. She told Johnson she thought Goldstrom had given the money over.

During the housing boom, Wright built hundreds of controversial McMansions that Fort Lauderdale residents complained were ruining old neighborhoods like Victoria Park and Rio Vista. When the bust hit, Wright's projects fell more than $100 million in debt, and the buyers of his homes fell into foreclosure en masse. He left many homes unfinished despite having received deposits from buyers and has been accused in court of stiffing his subcontractors. Wright has been hit with dozens of lawsuits to date.

Inside, a look at "La Preserve," which is the development from which is accused of stealing. 

Here's why they were called McMansions:

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​Notice that each La Preserve house looks extremely similar, though there's an effort to switch it up in the design (different colored roofs, altered faces, etc). Wright developments like La Preserve and Georgian Oaks were self-contained subdivisions, so they weren't nearly as controversial as his earlier days when he stuffed the McMansions on lots in Rio Vista and Victoria Park after bulldozing the existing house.

Wright built 67 of them in La Preserve and was selling them for $700,000 to $1 million before the bust hit. Then the whole thing blew up. Not only did the people who bought homes in the development go upside down but so did Wright, who was sued for foreclosure by Wachovia Bank when he still owed $8 million. That led to bankruptcy and events like this one:

 

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Today the houses are assessed in the 400s. Many have gone into foreclosure; many owners still retain their homes despite the fact that their values have in some cases been cut in half.

This, of course, is happening across South Florida. But Wright's projects, because they were in such sharp contrast to the older and more charming surrounding neighborhoods, were as controversial as any in the county. His McMansion business started inside Rio Vista and Victoria Park, where he would buy existing properties, tear them down, and cram the lot with one of his cookie-cutter masterpieces. Well, actually his modus operandi was often to replace the existing house with two McMansions. The result was an aesthetic disaster, clashing with the neighborhood's Spanish architecture and lush landscaping. 

The guy was so controversial that at one time, Wright had some 14 lobbyists on his payroll.

Wright hired Jon Albee, an appointed member of city boards, to work for him. Albee ran for commission in 2003. losing to Dean Trantalis. The fact that he worked for Wright didn't help his campaign. When he filed his public financial disclosure forms, he conveniently left out his employment with Wright, calling it an "oversight."  

More coming.


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46 comments
Acer
Acer

I bought a house from glenn and was locked out for months and Chase closed on it. Been in legal battle fro 4 years. Look at Independednt Tite of Broward and Margaret Santaigo,

P_Nis
P_Nis

I have a friend that lives in a Wright home, it's not bad and is a ton of home for the money. As far as the two developments, this guy worked wonders for those nasty ass run down areas that he built in. Like someone said, if he stole he belongs in jail but otherwise I dont think he was any worse than any of the other builder/developers of that time.

Christy
Christy

I agree the smell is not the Gefilte fish either. Smells like dirty money that needs to be laundered.

Mess
Mess

Such a big mistake re-zoning sections of downtown Fort Lauderdale from single family to multi-family. Now it's a disorganized mix of new townhomes looking down on 1940's 2/1's.

Guest
Guest

At a time like this, I miss Menachem Mendel III's wonderful funny and wise remarks. I could just imagine what he would say about his favorite scam Rabbi.

Guest
Guest

I would never think in a million years that Glen Wright was Jewish(Not that there's anything wrong with that) I suspect the only thing he worships would be MONEY! Kaplan is a sham of a Rabbi. I feel he's guilty of laudering MONEY for these crooks and should be investigated. The very least he should have clawbacks from the Ponzi Putz Rothstein's donations. Something smells very fishy and it's not the pickled herring.Great work Pulp....EXPOSE THE BASTARDS

Christy
Christy

Why would Wright steal $20,000 to give to a rabbi when Glenn was donating $1,000 a month?Something smells in the Chabad and it isn't the bagels and lox.

Citizen
Citizen

Maybe its me. Maybe I'm so jaded. Maybe I'm so cynical but i feel like all the really big bastards are getting away with murder(figuratively) in this town. Why no Lieberman, or Ritter or rodstrom? Why no big developer like Formen or Stiles or Pirtle. Why is it always the little pukes with no real connections to the "in" crowd? It's like they are throwing us a bone and saying "be good little doggies". Where's the big fishes?

Anon33024
Anon33024

Is this the Rabbi who made Kim Rothstein a full-fledged jew without making her go through any of the rituals and learning period? He just took the check???

I thought so. Just scam artists, stealing money in the name of religion. Rothstein, Szfranski and these crooks use this tactic and sleight of hand while they're stealing your wallets. Why aren't they in jail, so many of them.

liquid wrench
liquid wrench

So how many "secret jews" AKA "Marranos" (“Marranos” are Jews who “PRETEND” to convert to Christianity so as to deceive Christians in their business dealings, but secretly continued to practice Judaism in private rituals.) do we have running around in Ft. Hymietown?

And this dude Kaplan is definitely a ZIONIST PIG and needs to be thoroughly investigated but Satz is probably a jew also so that ain't going to happen.

Model Citizen
Model Citizen

If those are McMansions, I guess I live in a McShithole.

Jftbdt
Jftbdt

Admittedly GW is one of least popular people in Ft.Laud. BUT compared to the astounding conduct of Moss, Cummings, and Pirtle this guy is stealing coke bottle deposits.Mike Satz where the hell are you for the real stuff???

Gal Hadarifzi
Gal Hadarifzi

Good article, I like the picture of the rabbi, looks like he holds up the Torah as a shield so that he can get away with anything he likes, I also heard through the grapevine that there are unconfirmed reports that he's a Zionist! I would have liked a photo of his dancing on the boat, what a sleaze.

cindermaggi
cindermaggi

THIS KIND OF SHIT MAKES ME HORNY!!!!

albee
albee

Albee ran and lost twice. He even had fliers with a picture of him and a dog and the dog wasnt even his. As I recall he and Tim Smith were tied together at the hip. I think smith was running for mayor.

CriminalswithaBadge
CriminalswithaBadge

Just wunderin do me and mys bodygard farces has too geta lawier up? Chex ups onit Faux captin rickie maglyerin. I A

Iquizitivlee Yourz,

FauxCheefFranklinAdderleyfort lauderdales poleese cheephs,Goldin plates aword fo eatin mostis fod pade fo bye uther kroks,Proefesional Axident Invistigator,AAA insurince 25 yeer memberz,AARP knew membir,Hi skoll gradate,Kolige gradate wit B S digre,DEA sirtified, FBI akademy gradate,futer Mayeer

Satire storynames are just coincidental

Homeowner
Homeowner

Hey Buddies;I actually bought one of his houses. The guy built a good product. As good or better than GL homes or Robinette. As far as rio vista no comment. I don't know except for the fact that a lot of fat cats lived there, Which means unless Frank Lloyd Wright was building the house they would bitch. As far as victoria park that area was plagued by runned down efficientcy hotels with crack heads and whores so anything he built would add to the area. Give the guy credit for being a good builder.If he is a thief then put him in jail.

Lastly, its no coincidence that Rabbi to the felons turned up again. I'm sure if the feds look hard enough that guy was washing money. Give the rabbi $1000 and he gives you back $5oo under the table in cash. Did the bankruptcy attorney or Scherer ever depose this guy?They should!

Mitch Rapp
Mitch Rapp

Wright is only lying if his lips are moving. He is truly one cum stain of a human being and an oxygen thief.

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

Rasputin was a spiritual advisor. History is chock full of these phonies.

Christy
Christy

This isn't adding up, Kaplan was/is the Spiritual advisor to Scott Rothstein and Glenn Wright?

Is this a seinfeld episode?

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Is there any video of the Rabbi dancing "ecstatically"?

I would pay a handsome sum of money to view that.

Frenzy44
Frenzy44

My wife and I moved to S.Florida in the 90s and had Glenn build us a house. It was a nightmare. Glenn was likable on a personal level, and we fell for it. Glenn's standard tactic was to get you to sign a contract that basically committed him to building a block box with a roof, and everything else was extra. Glenn's construction company operated in chaos. Glenn would constantly blame his subcontractors for delays and put the customer in the middle between him and his subs. It was amazing anything was ever built.

I had no idea Glenn was jewish though...It is weird he was giving money to the ponzi Rabbi.

Dave E
Dave E

The Victoria Park Homeowners Association lied and pulled a fast-one on its residents in the early nineties with all the giant towhouses that were built, which then carried over to the Glenn Wright homes.

Christy
Christy

Black suits him better than those white starched shirts. Glenn Wright's been Going Glenn Wrong for years.

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

Methinks Mr Wright will soon be stiffing more than just subcontractors.

Gator
Gator

"He's been accused of no wrongdoing other than having a penchnat for becoming the spiritual leader of high-profile thieves and rapscallions."

Spiritual leaders who tend only to the righteous aren't worth much.

skydove
skydove

Go ahead and give it a shot -- try to imagine what MM III would say. You'll have answered Model Citizen's question of 2 hours ago, which should count as a mitzvah.

Frenzy44
Frenzy44

I can't believe hillbilly Glenn was interested in the Rabbi's "guidance". Here is what I think was going on: RRA was handling Glenn's La Preserve closing. Glenn wanted to buy some influence with Scotty and the RRA gang so he could have a law firm in his pocket to pull a few fast ones on developments going forward when needed. Glenn went through lawyers like underwear. Scotty told Glenn if he wanted some favors to drop some regular money on Rabbi stinky beard. Glenn had no money of his own so he stole it from the La Preserve HOA thinking the bumpkins he sold houses too would not notice.

Justwondering
Justwondering

I'm with you. Great questions "why no lieberman/michaelson; ritter/klenet... forman; stiles; book; platt; the entire lot of 'em at becker & poliakoff (especially barbara miller, alan koslow, bernie friedman), etc. Why no arrests of the known puppet masters and their puppets on the broward county commission?

skydove
skydove

Good point. In my neighborhood, to qualify as a McMansion you have to have fake pillars (foam, not stone), and the house itself has to be bigger.

Adele
Adele

I don't think he's a Zionist. I think he a money grubbing PHONEY!

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

Is this the same dance the " 5 Dancing Israelis of Bergen" fame, were reported to have been performing? Turtles all the way down.

Frenzy44
Frenzy44

LOL! White Shirts and Black Jeans was his standard uniform.

And I remember Glenn driving a ferrari for awhile, I guess he got it from his greaseball friend.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Ha!Bet you are already working on Volume III ... but where is Volume I? (Wasserstrom, Dawson, etc. ...)

Christy
Christy

He always had the back of the shirt flared out a little. He used to have a little Mullet going on , not that there is anything wrong with that.

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