"The Chief's good friend Nevin Shapiro needs two rooms for tonight (8/15/06) at the Ritz-Carlton. Would you be able to help him with that? Thanks for your help!"
So reads an email sent five years ago from then-Miami Beach Police chief Don Delucca's assistant to a manager at the posh South Beach hotel. It's one of several instances in which Delucca arranged hotel reservations for the Ponzi schemer. It's all included in a cache of more that 37 emails between the two pals that Riptide obtained from a public records request.
One of the explosive claims Shapiro recently made to a Yahoo! reporter during prison interviews: He plied University of Miami football players with prostitutes and threw sex parties for the athletes in hotel rooms. The Ritz-Carlton was not named in the story.
Riptide attempted to reach Delucca at Verasys, LLC, the security company where he is now executive vice president, several days ago. We were told he was in a meeting, and he never returned our call. We also had no luck at the office this afternoon.
It was no secret in the police department that Delucca and Shapiro were close. "Nevin would be in and out of the chief's office so much that you'd think he was assistant chief," says Gustavo Sanchez, vice president of the Miami Beach Police union, adding that they would often hold court together at South Beach's Smith & Wollensky steak house. Sanchez claims officers openly expressed skepticism about the chief's association with a man of dubious wealth who often paraded around the police station with "women that were obviously hookers."
The emails also reveal that Shapiro was a board member of the city's Police Athletic League.
Delucca and Shapiro exchanged three dozen emails between August 2006 and December 2007; several of them confirm or arrange hotel room reservations either in Shapiro's name or the names of others. On February 15th, for example, Shapiro emailed Delucca the following:
1st room-peter indovina-feb.21,22- (2nights)
2nd room-jarrett bostwick-feb.21,22-(2night)
3rd room-mike lester feb.22 (1 night)
4th room-larry anders feb.22 (1 night)
thank you nevin shapiro
Delucca then reserved ocean view rooms at the Ritz for those guests-- at the rate of $225 per night-- and forwarded the arrangements to Shapiro. At least two of those men appear to be associated with a Dallas investment firm, Summit Alliance Investment Group. That same month, Delucca arranged a room for a "Paul Cole-- and wife".
Bostwick, an Illinois wealth management lawyer living in Wellington, said he was "flabbergasted" that his name was used for a reservation. "Clearly, my identity has been compromised," said Bostwick, who added that he knows Peter Indovina but not the other two men, or Nevin Shapiro.
Delucca is currently one of three front-runners for the Golden Beach Police chief's position. One of the other two candidates: current Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega, whose own association with Shapiro was documented in the public record when the scam artist listed the chief as a witness to a threatening phone call. Miami Beach Police spokesperson Juan Sanchez insists that there was "no personal friendship" between Noriega and Shapiro.
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We've embedded a selection of the emails below. We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.