In 2012 Ola Aluko purchased a vacant lot in Overtown Miami for $39,000 through a shell company he created. Six months later a new manager(Desiree Durham) was installed. The next day, the company flipped the parcel for $150,000.
The buyer was Saint John Community Development Corporation - a Miami nonprofit, whose president is Ola Aluko.
Saint John is pursuing a tax-subsidized affordable housing project on the site.
As head of the Saint John CDC, Aluko has obtained millions in government money for Saint John CDC, which has paid his consulting firm hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past six years. Earlier this year, Oluko requested $6 million in public funding for a 24-unit apartment complex from Miami's Omni Community Redevelopment agency. The agency has not committed any funds, but close to $1 million in federal and county surtax dollars have been separately allocated.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's office declined to release records about the case.
Between 2012 and 2012015, Saint John has received nearly $12 million dollars in direct government grants to fund various low-income rental complexes in Overtown.
Aluko's firm, Odua Group earned about $900,000 from Saint John for administrative and construction management services.
The Miami Herald. June 20, 2017. 1A.