Boca Raton Real Estate Developer James Batmasian Gets Pardon
South Florida commercial real estate developer James Batmasian was among the 26 people who were pardoned by President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The Boca Raton real estate mogul served eight months in federal prison in 2008 for failing to pay the IRS $ 250,000 in income taxes tied to its real estate business, Investments Limited.
Batmasian’s pardon announced by the White House was supported by Rep. Brian Mast, criminal justice reform advocate Alice Johnson, and famous golfer Bernhard Langer, friend of President Trump.
In a statement, the White House cited Batmasian’s community service. It was also mentioned that the developer recorded all of his payments and “made no attempt to hide them when faced with the IRS”. He also paid the IRS back in full the money he owed, according to the White House.
“I am as grateful for the goodwill of President Trump as are all of my family,” Batmasian said in a statement.
Trump also pardoned former Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty, who was jailed for 21 months for honest service fraud. McCarty was found guilty in 2009 of using her position as Commissioner to inject money into her husband’s bond insurance business without making it public.
Batmasian is no stranger to controversy.
He and his wife Marta were allegedly linked to Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, who is now charged with perjury, official misconduct and abuse of public office, among other charges. Prosecutors allege Haynie failed to disclose her financial ties with the Batmasians while she was voting on her projects. Haynie is waiting for the trial.
Investments Limited owns and manages approximately 3,800 homes and over 3 million square feet of commercial real estate in South Florida and the Boston area, according to its website. It is among the largest and most active real estate companies in Boca Raton.
The pardon could have a major impact on Batmasian’s real estate company. In particular, it could make it easier for the developer to get funding from a bank.
On Wednesday, Trump also pardoned the head of the Kushner Companies, Charles Kushner, who had spent over a year in prison on charges of forging tax returns, illegal campaign donations and retaliation against a witness, among other things. Kushner’s belief was an aggravating factor in the company’s ability to obtain credit, according to David Enrich, a New York Times journalist who wrote a book about one of the company’s largest lenders, Deutsche Bank.
Others on the list of 26 pardons issued by Trump Wednesday were Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to the president, and Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign chairman.