Pride Fort Lauderdale President Miik Martorell told SFGN that his organization may not pursue the $13,000 it is still owed by Michael Cruz, who died last summer.
In June of 2011, Cruz was convicted of stealing $46,591 from Pride. Cruz, the former director of the then-named Pride South Florida, was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to make monthly payments of $400 to Pride to reimburse the organization. He had $13,000 left in payments at the time of his death.
When Cruz was convicted, a lien was placed against him by the court to ensure he paid Pride back. According to Broward property records, Cruz and a man named Emmanuel Stringos purchased a home in Fort Lauderdale in 2000 for $87,490. The home was sold in July of 2017 for $215,000, but Stringos was the only name on the title at the time of sale.
Martorell hopes to get the rest of what Pride is owed from Stringos.
Martorell said he “just started getting back into that about a week ago” but he’s not sure yet how to proceed. He said he would be seeking the advice of local attorneys. “I don’t even know where to begin.”
In January, Martorell told SFGN he would wait until after Pride Fort Lauderdale, held in February, to continue efforts to get the rest of the money. “We want to definitely recoup any moneys he owed to us. It’s community money. That’s how we have to look at it,” said Martorell on May 14.
But, depending on how difficult it is to recover the money from Stringos, Martorell said Pride might give up on recovering it. “By the time we finish with attorney fees, it may be too cost prohibitive [to pursue]. It would be nice if the guy would just step up to the plate. But not everyone does the right thing.”
SFGN was unable to find current contact information for Stringos.