The developers of the building which collapsed last week in Southern Florida were under investigation for allegedly bribing local officials to get the permit to build the condominium which has left around 10 people confirmed dead plus some 150 others yet unaccounted for.
But those who reportedly committed those crimes are also now dead, including Nathan Reiber, a Canadian national of Polish descent charged years before with tax evasion in Canada.
Construction rivals claimed that the partners behind Surfside Champlain Towers South in northern Miami were receiving preferential treatment when it came to approving the permitting system when it was being built in 1981, The Washington Post newspaper published.
Reibre and his associates had contributed to the campaigns of at least two city council members and then demanded that the donations be returned when the allegations emerged, according to the WaPo.
The 12-story tower had been about to undergo US $ 15 million worth of maintenance works to pass a required 40-year certification when it collapsed last Thursday.
All of the directors believed to have been involved in the design and construction of the building are already dead.
Reiber, who died in 2014, had been charged with tax evasion by Canadian authorities in the 1970s when he and his associates were charged with stealing cash from the apartment buildings they owned.
They allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars from coin-operated washing machines in buildings and pocketed about $ 120,000 worth of bogus construction checks, the Post detailed.
In 1984, Reiber, who was a lawyer, was cited for professional misconduct by the Law Society of Upper Canada for a tax evasion case, according to the newspaper. He eventually settled the case by returning to Canada and paying a $ 60,000 fine.
In Florida, Reiber and his partners were initially unable to begin construction of the condo buildings due to a 1979 debt due to faulty sewers. However, they agreed to pay half of the US $ 400,000 debt for sewer repairs on the property and were given the green light, much to the ire of rival companies whose projects remained stalled.