Convicted real estate investor in coma

Published May 30, 2007

TAMPA - Still in a coma three weeks after being critically injured in a hit-and-run crash, millionaire real estate investor Steven Green is unlikely to be well enough to report to prison this summer, his attorney said in court documents filed Tuesday.

Attorney Louis E. Cherico is seeking to have Green's July 7 turn-in date delayed until Oct. 5.

But there's no guarantee Green will recover by then, the White Plains, N.Y., attorney said.

"The doctors are unable to determine at this time what Mr. Green's physical and mental condition will be when and if he awakens from the coma, " Cherico said in his motion.

He said prison officials and the U.S. attorney handling the case did not object to his request for a later report date. Prosecutors could not be reached late Tuesday for comment.

Green, 42, is slated to serve 33 months in prison and pay $4.1-million in restitution on federal fraud and tax convictions.

A movie producer and philanthropist, Green built a $200-million apartment empire in Tampa before pleading guilty last year to using a phony Social Security number in an apartment loan application and to failing to file income tax returns from 1999 to 2001.

At Green's February sentencing, U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew granted him time to get his business affairs in order before reporting to prison.

Green had just left a New York nightclub early May 8 when he was hit by a black Ford Crown Victoria with tinted windows. Thrown almost 15 feet, he was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital and listed in critical condition.

In a May 10 St. Petersburg Times story, Cherico said he had visited Green and did not think his injuries were life-threatening. "He'll be up and about, " the attorney said.

But a police accident report said Green was "likely to die."

Doctors at St. Vincent's performed emergency surgery, removing part of Green's skull and evacuating a hematoma, according to a May 17 memo by Dr. Joseph DeMattia filed with the court. In the memo DeMattia said, "He remains in an unresponsive state."

Cherico could not be reached for comment late Tuesday. In his motion, he said Green was scheduled to be moved Tuesday to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Following Green's "hopeful recovery, " Cherico said, the Bureau of Prisons would most likely have to consider assigning Green to a facility that could handle his post-accident condition.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at 813 226-3337 or cjenkins@sptimes.com.