Marvin Kaplan, a real estate mogul, based out of Sarasota, Florida and Larry Starr’s business associate, has been on a mini media tour. The attempt is to make sure everyone knows that a judge has cleared Kaplan of not knowing there was a scheme at hand when his checking accounts were closed by Regions Bank for kiting checks. As the old saying goes “guilty dog barks the loudest”. In the latest article in the Business Observer, Marvin Kaplan says his tarnished reputation has been restored. Well, maybe not so fast.
Here is why Kaplan’s claim that he did nothing wrong is so hard to believe. First, he was loaning a ridiculous amount of money to a small adverting agency in North Carolina. Millions of dollars per day (based on court records) at 10% for “one” day loans. Based on research, the interest being charged to the company (Smith Advertising and Associates) is illegal in the State of Florida. Punishable up to 5 years in prison.
When Regions Bank realized Marvin Kaplan was up to no good, the bank attempted to freeze/close Kaplan’s other Regions Bank accounts to the tune of millions of dollars. Marvin Kaplan, the experienced businessman he is, beat Regions to the punch and wired millions out of Regions Bank. If Marvin Kaplan was on the up and up, why did he wire out millions of dollars. What was he hiding?
Marvin Kaplan claims he contacted the Secret Service as if he reported the potential fraud. We know this is not true because earlier public records show Regions Bank immediately contacted the Sarasota Police and Secret Service.
Marvin Kaplan was actually cashing checks from the advertising agency. Principle and interest checks (based on published public information). Marvin Kaplan says he should have known it was too good to be true. This might be true from a blue collar, unsophisticated investor but not Marvin Kaplan and his associates. Kaplan and his associates like Larry Starr are extremely savvy and notorious money guys. The Sarasota Herald Tribune has extensively documented Marvin Kaplan and Larry Starr for over 15 years as he has walked away from tens of millions of dollars in bank loans. Kaplan has sent area banks into tail spins with his bad loans.
Kaplan seems to forget, as he takes his victory lap, that he still has a tarnished reputation in the state of Florida . Marvin Kaplan appears to have dodged another bullet for check kiting. But is it over? Will the FDIC intervene? Will Regions Bank make another run at Kaplan for fraud or breach? Will Regions Bank reach out to Todd Smith’s attorney for help now that he has pled guilty?
It is likely that most people do not feel sorry for Kaplan as he describes himself being a recluse after Regions Bank leveled the alleged charges of check kiting against him. Marvin Kaplan has been a shark in the waters of Sarasota Florida for the past 15 years. All well published and documented.
As the public looks closer at the published details of this matter involving Smith Advertising, Marvin Kaplan, Larry Starr and many more common sense prevails. It simply does not pass the smell test. It is very difficult to believe Marvin Kaplan and associates are victims. The contradictions in the court records show an incestuous relationship between Marvin Kaplan, Larry Starr and their entities.