Coma delays investor's term in prison

Published May 31, 2007

TAMPA - Millionaire real estate investor Steven Green's federal prison sentence is now on hold until October.

Green was expected to report for his 33-month prison term in July. But his attorney asked for a delay because he said Green remains in a coma after being hit by a car three weeks ago in New York.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew granted the extension Wednesday.

Green, 42, amassed a $200-million apartment empire in Tampa, including Amberwood Apartments in northern Hillsborough, where county inspectors found hundreds of code violations.

He pleaded guilty to using a phony Social Security number in an apartment loan application and to failing to file income tax returns from 1999 to 2001.

Bucklew sentenced him in February but gave him time to get his business affairs in order and to liquidate holdings to pay a $4.1-million restitution order.

A day before Green's accident, the judge granted him an additional nine days of freedom, pushing his surrender date to July 7 from June 28.

Early May 9, he was critically injured in a hit-and-run outside a New York nightclub. Doctors performed surgeries on his head and transferred him Tuesday to a rehabilitative unit at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Louis Cherico, Green's attorney, said in his motion that doctors don't know what Green's condition will be "when and if" he awakens.

On Wednesday, Cherico said his client shows no outward signs of injury.

"He's been showing responsive signs, " Cherico said. "We hope for recovery. It's just not going to be quick."

Cherico said he will report to the court before the Oct. 5 surrender date with an update on his client's condition.

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