Miami mayor discloses millions in side gigs in his last act as a presidential candidate

The day before he announced the end of his short-lived presidential campaign, Francis Suarez filed a financial disclosure statement with the Federal Elections Commission revealing more than a dozen previously undisclosed lucrative side gigs held by the Miami mayor since the beginning of 2022.

In his federal financial disclosure, dated Aug. 28 and released publicly on Tuesday, Suarez listed income ranges for 15 consulting arrangements or jobs, including his mayoral compensation, and five investment properties — putting his total income for the past 20 months somewhere between $2.1 and $12.9 million.

This is the first time that Suarez — a part-time mayor with annual compensation of around $130,000 from the role — has reported income earned from outside work, which is not required for state and local disclosures.

Even on the low end of the income ranges, the federal disclosure reveals a previously unknown level of wealth for the Miami mayor, whose personal net worth went from negative numbers just 10 years ago when he first took public office to $3.4 million at the end of 2022.

Instagram posts by developer Rishi Kapoor’s URBIN Condos brand, show Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (center left) and former commissioner Ken Russell (second from the left) at the groundbreaking for the co-living project in Coconut Grove. Suarez was paid $10,000 a month by the developer.
Instagram posts by developer Rishi Kapoor’s URBIN Condos brand, show Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (center left) and former commissioner Ken Russell (second from the left) at the groundbreaking for the co-living project in Coconut Grove. Suarez was paid $10,000 a month by the developer.

Suarez can legally hold outside employment so long as his private work does not conflict with his duties as an elected official. But as his wealth ballooned in step with his years in office and his work for a local developer came under federal investigation, Suarez faced growing criticism for refusing to disclose a comprehensive list of his outside employment.

He insisted he was concerned for his clients’ confidentiality. But Suarez’s hesitance was ultimately trumped by his presidential ambitions.

Presidential candidates are required to file a more complete accounting of income sources than mandated by local and state laws, which do not require the mayor to list sources of income that account for less than 5% of his annual net earnings.

About one-third of the income listed on Suarez’s federal disclosures came from previously unreported sources, including Legacy Wealth Advisors, a Brickell-based consulting firm catering to “ultra-high net worth individuals”; ONEOF, an NFT platform; and City National Bank of Florida, a Miami-based financial institution that issued the mortgage for Suarez’s residence. Suarez paid off his mortgage last year.

His substantial earnings were made from a patchwork of contract jobs and other “nonemployee compensation” in industries like technology and real estate that the mayor frequently promotes from his public office. Suarez received stock options from Redivider, a crypto currency mining company where the mayor is a minority investor, that was previously looking to open a mining operation in Homestead. He received a percentage commission from certain transactions at Dreamer Capital, a company with almost no online presence that shares an address with the Brickell firm. Suarez noted he went on leave from the firm in August.

In 2021, Suarez promoted Bilt Rewards — a New York-based company that allows customers to earn points by renting properties within the company’s network — on X, the platform then-known as Twitter, saying the firm was one he hoped to attract to Miami. Although it’s unclear when Bilt started paying the mayor, his federal financial disclosure shows Suarez received between $50,000 and $100,000 from the company since 2022.

More details were also revealed about the mayor’s previously disclosed work as a senior operating partner for DaGrosa Capital Partners, a Coral Gables-based private equity firm from which Suarez receives a $360,000 salary, plus profit sharing, according to his federal disclosure.

Employment agreements that Suarez reported as active at the time of filing did not include his work for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the international law firm that hired Suarez as an attorney in 2021 as it looked to expand in South Florida. However, in a different section of his federal disclosure, Suarez indicated he was still working for the firm. A spokesperson from Quinn Emanuel previously told the Herald that Suarez was put on unpaid leave following the announcement of his presidential campaign.

Ultimately, the firm paid him between $1 million and $5 million dollars, making it his largest single source of income in the past two calendar years.

Neither Suarez nor his campaign responded to the Herald’s request for comment.

Aside from the array of side gigs and handful of investment properties, the federal disclosure paints a sparse financial portrait of the mayor who has tried to build up his national brand as a modern, tech-savvy businessman. Suarez disclosed no significant investments outside of real estate. No stocks or bonds. No retirement account. No college savings plans for his young children. Just two bank accounts and a Strike wallet, which he uses to convert his city paychecks into digital currencies.

While his presidential campaign was built on his reputation as the “Bitcoin mayor,” the latest disclosure shows Suarez has less than $15,000 currently invested in into crypto.

Also notably absent from the filing was any indication of income generated by Suarez’s wife, Gloria, founder of an event planning company, Cymbidium Events. Spousal income sources dating back to the previous calendar year are required to be detailed as part of the candidate disclosure form.

The federal filings also revealed one apparent inconsistency between this report and an earlier state disclosure by Suarez. In the state form filed in July, Suarez disclosed a board of managers position at the local technology conference eMerge Americas. The amount of income was not required to be disclosed on that form. The subsequent, more detailed federal filing said he received $10,000 a month, the same figure the Herald’s independent reporting revealed he received for consulting for local developer Location Ventures. But Suarez did not include Location Ventures on the state form.

It is not clear why he would treat two apparently equal income streams differently on his disclosures.

Under the state’s rules, reporting requirements are based on size of payments in relation to overall income. In this case, the monthly payments appear identical.

Suarez’s business relationship with Location Ventures came under state and federal investigation in June, following Herald reporting that revealed the mayor was quietly receiving $10,000 per month from the company as his office intervened to help the company overcome a permitting and zoning issue stalling a Coconut Grove project. The new disclosures show that since the beginning of last year, Suarez received between $100,001 and $1 million from Location Ventures.

While the latest disclosure is required of all active presidential candidates, it is not required by candidates who dropped out before the filing deadline. Suarez, who previously received an extension, could have applied for a second extension before his Aug. 28 filing deadline.

Instead, he filed the disclosure and dropped out of the presidential race the next day.