Crime

Man accused of embezzling millions in North Myrtle Beach resort construction project

A look inside the J. Reuben Long Detention Center

The J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County houses inmates soon after an arrest. There are 20 housing units in the facility that hold several hundred inmates.
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The J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County houses inmates soon after an arrest. There are 20 housing units in the facility that hold several hundred inmates.

A Myrtle Beach man embezzled more than $2 million in construction funds from a North Myrtle Beach resort project, according to police.

North Myrtle Beach police charged Jose Manuel Fernandez Del Puerto with breach of trust with fraudulent intent valued at $5,000 or more. That South Carolina charge is also known as embezzlement.

Fernandez Del Puerto was booked into Horry County’s J. Reuben Long Detention Center around 2 p.m. on Wednesday and posted $100,000 bond on Thursday.

Fernandez Del Puerto is the managing partner of the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy in North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Resort. The international academy opened on the Barefoot Resort driving range in 2012 and offers its students housing, schooling and golf training.

Fernandez Del Puerto is a Mexico native who has lived in Myrtle Beach for the past decade.

A North Myrtle Beach police report states that between March 2015 and January 2018, Fernandez was in charge of funds for construction costs for Wyndham Gardens at Barefoot Resort. The project was supposed to be built in front of the driving range at 5183 Barefoot Resort Bridge Road.

Over three years, Fernandez withdrew more than $2 million from the business account and transferred the funds into a personal checking account, the report states.

The construction project involved Olmeca Capital LL and Vermex Hotels LLC, according to his arrest report.

Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.


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