Pandemic brings big payout for Robinson, Gruters Accounting Firm
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Update: The Herald Tribune did a story on 7.6.20 that offered details regarding SBA payouts to a number of Sarasota-based firms, including those linked to Vern Buchanan, Margaret Good, Joe Gruters and Eric Robinson.
A Venice, FL, accounting firm whose partners include two Sarasota public officials reportedly claimed 67 employees, and collected a huge payout from the Federal Government's Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP).
According to the Naples Daily News, the accounting firm of Robinson, Gruters, CPA located at 133 S. Harbor Drive, Venice got between $150,000 and $350,000 from the PPP.
A line on their PPP application indicates that Robinson, Gruters CPA will retain 67 jobs.
The South Harbor Drive CPA office is about 2900 sq. ft. No other workplace address is listed on the LLC's filing with the state's Division of Corporations
The firm's 2019 Christmas “Team” photo shows nine employees, including Eric Robinson, and several staffers.
Another photo presents the partners including State Senator Joe Gruters and Robinson, who is a member of the Sarasota County School Board.
Both Gruters and Robinson are currently running for a second term in their respective public offices.
Sarasota's Supervisor of Elections filings show that the 133 Harbor Drive address of Robinson, Gruters is the treasurer of record for Commissioner Mike Moran's District 1 re-election campaign.
The Robinson, Gruters firm is widely known to be politically engaged, but the extent of its staffing was unsuspected. Some in the county are asking to see documentation of the 67 employees the firm claims were prevented from working due to the Pandemic.
Asked by Politico about the Covid19-related loan, Gruters did not respond. The firm was one of many politically connected businesses that filed for and received PPP payouts, details of which remain murky.
School Board Member Eric Robinson:
State Sen. Gruters:
Cathy Antunes, a local investigative advocate, has looked into the bewildering web of PACs managed by Robinson. Her findings are gathered in a Flipbook that is free and online. It's called Local Dark Money, found here.
Also - important! Please take a moment to sign this Petition: It simply challenges Sarasota News Media to act like journalists -- to ask candidates in the 2020 election some hard questions, and stage debates ahead of the August 18 primary.
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