The Miami Beach philanthropist, who founded Capital Bank in 1974, died Saturday. He was 86.
When Abel Holtz came to South Florida from Cuba in 1961, he used his law degree and determination to build a banking empire that would turn him into a multimillionaire.
He used his fortune to help the community. He supported arts, sports and children’s medical care across Miami-Dade County. A downtown Miami street, a children’s hospital at Jackson Memorial and a tennis center in Miami Beach all carried his name.
In the 1980s, Holtz met former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud, who in 1991 was slapped with a 41-count federal indictment charging him with racketeering, extortion, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
Daoud testified that Holtz bribed him for political favor. Daoud was sentenced to five years in prison, but served only about 18 months.
Holtz was sentenced to 45 days. After his conviction, he could no longer run the bank, and turned it over to his son Daniel.
Before his felony conviction was pardoned by Trump, Holtz had support from Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart along with friends and business colleagues in the Greater Miami community, according to the White House.