Naples property manager accused of misusing client money was sued. Then he bought a private jet
- Thirty-three Collier and Lee county condo and homeowner associations have now accused Orlando Miserandino Ortiz' company American Property Management Services of financial misconduct, with the associations' lawyer estimating losses totaling tens of millions of dollars.
- APMS was first sued in April for failing to turn over client bank accounts. Four days later, Ortiz created a company called Gama Jets LLC.
- By May 7, Gama Jets was the new owner of a 1999 Hawker 800XP business jet — and wasted no time in using it.
- The current whereabouts of Ortiz and Lina Munoz Posada, his wife and business partner, are unclear.
Some businessmen, when accused of embezzling their clients’ money, might try to lay low.
Not Orlando Miserandino Ortiz. He bought a private jet.
Thirty-three Collier and Lee county condo and homeowner associations have now accused Ortiz' company American Property Management Services of financial misconduct, with the associations' lawyer estimating losses totaling tens of millions of dollars.
APMS was first sued in April for failing to turn over client bank accounts. Four days later, Ortiz created a company called Gama Jets LLC.
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By May 7, Gama Jets was the new owner of a 1999 Hawker 800XP business jet — and wasted no time in using it. The plane began making frequent international trips, primarily between Naples Airport, Opa-Locka Executive Airport in Miami and destinations in Colombia, including other long-distance jaunts.
It's averaged four flights per week since the start of December, hitting destinations including Las Vegas, the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Guadalajara, Mexico, and São Gonçalo do Amarante in Brazil.
The current whereabouts of Ortiz and Lina Munoz Posada, his wife and business partner, are unclear. The last available data for the plane shows it making a series of flights on Jan. 31: from Miami toward the Bahamas, to Tallahassee, and then back to Miami.
APMS workers told clients that Ortiz and Posada have been mostly out of the country since January 2021 because of the health of a family member in South America, according to Royal Bay Villas Condo Association President Laura Rigsby.
As of Feb. 2, the company hasn't answered the legal actions filed against it this year. On Jan. 24, the owner of American Property Management's office building sued the company for failing to pay rent that month.
And a process server wrote in a Jan. 27 affidavit that he was unable to contact Ortiz or Posada at their Naples home address, with the building's property manager saying the couple had been unreachable for several months.
An attorney who represented Ortiz in the April lawsuit did not return a request for comment. A phone number for Ortiz listed on the plane’s FAA paperwork was out of service.
In response to a Naples Daily News query seeking to speak with Tampa-based Ortiz, Shutts & Bowen partner Attorney Erik R. Matheney said: "We represent American Property Management Services. We have not entered an appearance for any other party. As such, we cannot address your question regarding speaking to Mr. Ortiz."
It is unclear which if any of those flights Ortiz and Lina Munoz Posada personally took. The Daily News' analysis was based on transponder data from the air traffic tracking organization ADSB-Exchange, which does not include passenger information or flight plans.
An online listing for the plane touts leather seats, tasteful woodwork, a sound system with two subwoofers and "luxurious coordinating carpeting." The listing does not include an asking price. but Hawker 800XP's typically sell for $1.8 million to $2.2 million, according to the private plane sales company evoJets.
Ortiz's Hawker shares a connection to reggaetón royalty.
A company managed by the sister of megastar Colombian recording artist J Balvin possessed the plane before its sale to Gama Jets, according to FAA records. A co-founder of Balvin’s management company is listed as the creditor of a $350,000 aircraft security agreement with Gama Jets — essentially a mortgage using the jet as collateral.
Such arrangements are common in the private aviation business and are sometimes used to finance the purchase of a plane when the buyer can’t pay the full price up front, according to Bruce D. Green, an aviation attorney based in Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s just like borrowing money on your house,” Green said in an interview.
There are no allegations of wrongdoing by Balvin or his management company, and the Daily News has seen no evidence of any connection between them and Ortiz beyond the plane transactions.
Balvin’s manager did not return a message seeking comment.
Community associations claim Ortiz and Posada placed client money in bank accounts the associations could not access and have since refused to turn over control of the accounts. A letter to residents of the Commodore Club on Harbour Drive in Naples claims APMS concealed its embezzlement by providing forged bank statements to the community's board.
"At this time, we are in communication with the Secret Service and local authorities," the letter said. "We are not alone."
A judge granted the associations a temporary restraining order to freeze the funds in AMPS’ Wells Fargo bank accounts earlier this month.
Attorney Jason Hamilton Mikes, who is representing the community associations, shared evidence of the fraud with the Daily News: an image of a $150,000 check from the Vista Palms condo association to L&O Consulting Group, a company owned by Posada and Ortiz. The association had no previous relationship with L&O consulting and did not approve the spending, Mikes said.
If Ortiz tired of the air, he could always travel by sea. He is also the registered owner of the “Lucky Star 2,” a 31-foot Sea Ray sport boat, according to U.S. Coast Guard records collected by the data broker LexisNexis.
Fort Myers News Press journalist Michael Braun contributed to this report.
Criminal justice investigative reporter Dan Glaun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dglaun.