Rubio pleased SEC investigating Global Ministries Foundation
GMF owns several properties, including two in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Senator Marco Rubio said he's pleased the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Global Ministries Foundation, which owns several apartment complexes throughout the country, including two in Jacksonville.
Those Jacksonville complexes are Eureka Gardens and Washington Heights.
“Global Ministries Foundation must be held accountable for stealing millions in taxpayer dollars and forcing Florida families to live in deplorable conditions," Rubio said in a statement. "I’m glad to see federal authorities are taking more action."
Rubio said his office received an update from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and he will continue to follow the issues closely.
"Endangering the health and safety of these residents is unacceptable, and they deserve better than the slumlords of GMF," Rubio said.
Rubio has been outspoken about the troubled complexes in Jacksonville and toured Eureka Gardens at one point. He sent letters to several federal agencies, urging them to open an investigation into GMF.
The SEC is investigating housing bonds in Memphis, Tennessee, connected to GMF.
It came one week after federal housing investigators raided GMF's headquarters in the Memphis suburb of Cordova and at a third-party location in Dexter, Missouri.
A document obtained by the I-TEAM shows the investigation appears to be connected to a federal lawsuit stemming from $11.8 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by Bank of New York-Mellon for GMF’s troubled Warren-Tulane Apartments in Memphis.
The letter lists “potentially relevant” documents as those created on or after June 1, 2010, that “were created, modified or accessed by Reverend Richard L. Hamlet, Alan Swafford, Dr. Thomas Stoval, Natalie Metcalf or Nancy Hall.”
A GMF spokesperson told the I-TEAM that “GMF will continue to fully cooperate with the government’s investigation as called upon.”
Seven Jacksonville public housing projects, including Eureka Gardens and Washington Heights, are among 61 that Global Ministries owns across the country. The nonprofit foundation's Jacksonville properties have been the subject of I-TEAM reports since last fall and subject of local, state and federal investigations.
When the city of Jacksonville inspected 160 of the 400 units at Eureka Gardens in October, it found 340 safety, health or code violations. Inspectors found mold, crumbling stairs and carbon monoxide leaks at the property.
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