Campaign Donors Paying The Rent For Dale Holness Real Estate Office

Dale Holness’ real estate office in Plantation

Wealthy donors to Dale Holness‘ congressional campaign are paying the rent on his real estate office in Plantation, Federal records show. Holness owns the All Broward Realty (ABR) office located at 4325 West Sunrise Boulevard. For years, Holness has used his real estate office as his political headquarters.

Dale Holness & Damara Holness inside the All Broward Realty office in Plantation

In 2018, Dale Holness, his daughter Damara Holness and his campaign guru Omar Smith used the All Broward Realty office as the defacto Andrew Gillum campaign office. Holness and his daughter filmed videos shilling for Gillum.

Omar Smith at Andrew Gillum campaign rally at Dale Holness office in 2018

In 2018, REDBROWARD interviewed Omar Smith at an Andrew Gillum campaign rally held in the parking lot in front of Dale Holness’ real estate office. A few month later, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas confronted Omar Smith outside the ABR offices after undercover video showed Smith using racial slurs to describe Florida voters.

Project Veritas interviews Omar Smith outside Dale Holness office in 2018.

In April 2021, Dale Holness announced his candidacy for US Congress District 20 at a rally at his real estate office.

Holness For Congress kickoff at Dale Holness real estate office in April 2021
Dale Holness Campaign Kickoff April 2020

Dale Holness repeatedly posts pictures of supporters attending meetings at his real estate office.

Dale Holness and Miramar Commissioner Alexandra Davis at his real estate office.

Now, Holness is using campaign contributions to pay his rent at the ten unit shopping mall near the Florida Turnpike. In its June 2021 campaign report to the Federal Elections Commission, the Holness For Congress committee lists a $1,700 payment to Plantation Merchandise Mart for “June rent for office space.”

Instead of using Plantation Merchandise Mart’s physical address in Plantation, the Holness For Congress campaign used the Lake Worth address of In-Rel Properties which manages commerical properties.

All ten units at the Plantation Merchandise Mart appear to be occupied. The tenants include a medical office, a beauty salon, a tax and tag office, a school, a plumbing supply company, an MRI office, a uniform store and All Broward Realty.

The Holness real estate office is festooned with campaign signs for Dale Holness and the late Alcee Hastings.

REDBROWARD contacted In-Rel Properties to ask if Dale Holness had rented additional office space at the Plantation Merchandise Mart. A company representative said someone would call us back.

But on the Holness For Congress website, the only address provided is the All Broward Realty office. This same address is used on the Federal forms Dale Holness filed to run for Congress.

Is Dale Holness really using campaign funds to pay rent on his business’ office? With the election more than two months away, Dale Holness could save six months of rent payments that would have come out of his own pocket.

This would not be the first time Dale Holness gamed the system to his financial advantage.

In 2013, REDBROWARD exposed how Dale Holness failed to pay more than $13,000 in property taxes on numerous investment properties across Broward. When asked about his failure to pay his tax bills, Holness was nonchalant about the matter.

Holness told the Sun-Sentinel his paltry $92,000 County Commission salary barely covered expenses for his seven children.”I’m paying it as I can,” Holness said. “I have different responsibilities. I have children, I don’t neglect my children. I’ve been helping them because they have had a tough time and even though some [of them] are grown … I still have the responsibility.”

Since Holness was so delinquent, his property taxes were sold in tax certificate process. The Sun-Sentinel explained at a tax certificate sale, “investors compete to pay the tax bills for the owners, bidding for an interest rate that will be owed by the delinquent taxpayer. The investor gambles on the eventual payoff from the taxpayer: If the property owner pays up, the investor pockets the interest. If the owner doesn’t pay, the investor can move forward with trying to acquire the property at auction.”

To Dale Holness, there was no shame in having tax certificates sold on his properties. He told the Sun-Sentinel, “The money still goes into the tax coffers. It does cost me more. It’s like a loan.”

In 2020, REDBROWARD again exposed how Holness failed to timely pay his property taxes. He owed nearly $19,000 in taxes to the County. Two of his properties, both Lauderhill townhomes, were so delinquent that both homes were subject to public auction proceedings.

At his campaign kickoff in April, REDBROWARD asked Dale Holness about his failure to pay his property taxes on time.

Shouldn’t Dale Holness pay his own bills?

Holness For Congress website lists Dale Holness real estate office as its address
Holness For Congress campaign paperwork lists Dale Holness real estate office as address.

UPDATE: DALE HOLNESS’ CAMPAIGN GURU RECEIVED $212,000 PPP LOAN TO SAVE THIRTY JOBS

New records show a company owned by Dale Holness’ “campaign guru” received a $212,000 Pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to save thirty jobs. Last September, REDBROWARD exposed how Omar Smith’s A Star For I, Inc. company received a PPP loan despite collecting payments from Dale Holness and his allies during the COVID-19 lockdown. At the time, it appeared Smith applied for a PPP loan as a sole proprietor. Political insiders doubt Omar Smith’s company ever had a payroll with thirty employees.

Last week, Dale Holness’ daughter Damara Holness was arrested on a conspiracy to commit wire fraud to fraudulently obtain a PPP loan. Last August, REDBROWARD exposed Damara Holness’ laughable claim she owned a company with eighteen employees and a $1.4 million dollar payroll. Damara Holness used Dale Holness’ business address to obtain a $300,000 PPP loan.

Days later, REDBROWARD exposed how Richelle Holness, another daughter of Dale Holness, also received a PPP loan. Like Damara, Richelle Holness appears to be heavily involved in Dale Holness’ political operations. When REDBROWARD revealed Richelle Holness’ ties to a shadowy political committee, Omar Smith reached out to REDBROWARD to ask for a favor. With a female screaming in the background, Smith asked REDBROWARD TO redacte the name of Dale Holness’ ex-wife from the story.

How many members of the TEAM HOLNESS political operation received federal loans?

Original story is below:

A company owned by Broward Mayor Dale Holness’ controversial campaign consultant received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for up to $350,000, records show. According to news organizations tracking the COVID-19 relief program, A Star For I, Inc. received approval for a loan between $150,000 and $350,000 on June 1, 2020. As REDBROWARD previously reported, A Star For I, Inc. is owned and operated by Omar M. Smith, Dale Holness’ campaign “guru.”

Even though PPP loans were intended to be used on employee payroll, these organizations state A Star For I, Inc. reported zero employees on its loan applications. Self-employed business owners were eligible for PPP loans.

According to Marketwatch.com:

After much confusion, it’s now clear that self-employed individuals who have no employees, and therefore no actual payroll expenses, can qualify for PPP loan forgiveness by simply paying themselves so-called owner compensation replacement. The amount that can be forgiven is based on your 2019 net self-employment income and can be up to 100% of the loan amount. However, the maximum loan amount for a self-employed person with no employees is $20,833.

How did A Star For I, Inc. receive nearly ten times more for “owner compensation replacement” than average self-employed business owners?

But why was A Star For I, Inc. seeking “compensation replacement” at all?

HOLNESS CONSULTANT PAID THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS DURING LOCKDOWN

According to the Florida Division of Elections, Omar Smith’s company received 14,188 from political campaign after receiving a six-figure PPP loan. This includes a July 9, 2020 payment of $1,500 by George Odom’s judicial campaign and and a July 30, 2020 payment for $10,200 by former Broward Judge Ian Richards.

Broward election records show Omar Smith made even more money from his work as Dale Holness’ campaign consultant. Holness is seeking re-election for his District 9 seat this November. Holness has no Republican opposition, just an unknown write-in candidate.

According to Holness campaign reports, Omar Smith/A Star for I, Inc was paid $46,750 as a consultant. More than $31,000 was paid after the COVID-19 lockdown.

TEAM HOLNESS

In July, REDBROWARD exposed how Broward Mayor Dale Holness’ campaign team appeared to be behind a mysterious federal political committee backing mostly black candidates. Records show Holness’ longtime campaign marketing guru Omar Smith is tied to the “People Over Principle PAC.” These same records show the committee has failed report any money contributions or expenditures as required by law.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show People of Principle PAC was created by Charmalin Brown in January 2019. Brown used the address of a Margate UPS store as the headquarters for the political committee. In April 2019, Charmalin Brown purchased the domain name currently used by People Of Principle PAC.

State corporation records show Charmalin Brown, a tax preparer, started a business in 2006 using Omar Smith as her registered agent. Brown used a home on the 300 block of Berenger Walk in Royal Palm Beach as her business address. Numerous records show Omar Smith uses the same Berenger Walk address.

Federal records show People of Principle PAC has never reported its financial information. The FEC sent “failure to file” notices on August 15, 2019, February 19, 2020 and May 1, 2020 to the committee.

In addition to costs used to purchase domain and rent a mailbox at the Margate UPS Store, People Of Principle PAC is spending money on advertisements promoting Broward candidates. These candidates included Dale Holness, George Odom and Ian Richards.

In January 2018, REDBROWARD exposed the roles Omar Smith and County Commissioner Dale Holness played in Dean Trantalis’ Fort Lauderdale Mayoral campaign.

Florida Division Of Elections records show Sophia A. Nelson is the chairperson of the “A Better Florida For All” political committee. The address for this political committee is the same address found on a December pro-Trantalis email sent to Fort Lauderdale voters by “FlyerSmith.”

Division of Elections records show Omar Smith is the treasurer of the “A Better Florida For All” political committee.

On December 7, 2017 A Better Florida For All hosted a fundraiser for Dean Trantalis. According to an announcement posted on the group’s Facebook page, the A Better Florida For All event was being held at 4325 West Sunrise Boulevard in Plantation. This is the address for All Broward Realty, a company owned by Dale Holness.

In October 2018, Buddy Nevins of Broward Beat reported on four local judicial candidates appearing the endorsement card produced by A Better Florida For All. The card promoted Democrat candidates most notably Andrew Gillum. Nevins wrote, “Four Broward lawyers running for judge could end up in trouble for appearing to violate state Code of Ethics for judicial candidates. Partisan appeals judicial candidates’ ads are forbidden by the Florida Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct. Joint advertising by judicial candidates is also prohibited.”

Omar Smith talked to the Sun-Sentinel about the palm card controversy. Smith “insisted this week that none of the candidates were picked because of financial ties to the political action committee or to any of Smith’s businesses, which perform campaign services.”

Shortly thereafter, the State of Florida revoked the registration of A Better Florida For All. Smith failed to properly submit paper to the Florida Division Of Elections. Attempts to contact Smith failed.

In November 2018, Omar Smith made national headlines when Project Veritas showed undercover video of him calling Florida a “cracker state.” Smith was working for the Andrew Gillum campaign.

While some Gillum supporters claimed Omar Smith did not work for the campaign, financial records show otherwise. According to Florida Division of Elections records, the Andrew Gillum campaign paid Smith’s company, FlyerSmith, $50,000 in August 2018.

Also, the Project Veritas video appears to have been recorded inside Dale Holness’ real estate office in Plantation.

ANOTHER HOLNESS CONSULTANT AND PPP

Last month, REDBROWARD revealed a Florida corporation based inside Broward Mayor Dale Holness’ real estate office received a loan up to $350,000 via the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) intended to help companies affected by the COVID-19 lockdown pay employees. Numerous records and published reports show Holness Consulting Inc. received a PPP loan between $150,000 and $350,000 on June 27, 2020. According to State records, Holness Consulting Inc. is located at 4325 W. Sunrise Blvd in Plantation. Damara Holness, daughter of Dale Holness, is listed as its president.

Two businesses owned by Broward Mayor Dale Holness, All Broward Realty and American Holding Group, are located at 4325 W. Sunrise Blvd in Plantation.

State corporation records show Damara Holness formed Holness Consulting Inc in November 2018. Ms. Holness, president of the Broward Black Democratic Party Caucus, is active in local and State political campaigns. In December 2018, Holness Consulting Inc received a $350 payment from Coral Springs Commissioner Joshua Simmons. In June 2019, Coral Commission candidate Khurrum Wahid paid $4,500 to Holness Consulting Inc.

It appears Holness Consulting Inc failed to file its 2019 annual report in 2019. Holness Consulting Inc. filed for reinstatement on June 22, 2020. Five days later, Holness Consulting Inc received its PPP loan.

According to available records, Holness Consulting Inc. claims to have eighteen employees. It is rare for any local political consultant to employ anyone other than themselves.

When REDBROWARD reached her by telephone, Damara Holness said, “I’m in a meeting right now” and hung up.

Dale Holness and Damara Holness have worked closely on political campaigns in the past. In 2018, the Holness offices housed the Andrew Gillum for Governor campaign offices. Earlier this year, Damara Holness hosted a party registration event at Dale Holness’ office in Plantation.

Did Broward Mayor Dale Holness encourage his daughter and his campaign guru to seek a PPP loans?