Brooklyn lawyer pleads guilty to $6M in real estate fraud
On Thursday in Brooklyn Federal Court, Shimon Rosenfeld, a Brooklyn attorney licensed to practice in New York, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of at least $6 million by falsely claiming he was using the money to invest in real estate opportunities.
The proceedings were held before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto.
Between May 2014 and March 2018, Rosenfeld perpetrated a fraudulent scheme by soliciting and receiving approximately at least $6 million from various individuals based on misrepresentations.
In particular, Rosenfeld induced the victims to invest their money with him based, in part, on representations that he would purchase real estate and sell it to a prospective buyer at a higher price, also referred to as “flipping” the property.
Rosenfeld told the victims that he would split the profits from the real estate transactions with them. But in reality, Rosenfeld misappropriated the victim investors’ money, directing the funds into bank accounts he controlled and using the money to trade securities out of his brokerage account.
Mark J. Lesko, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., assistant director-in-charge, New York Field Office of FBI; and Patrick J. Freaney, deputy special agent-in-charge, U.S. Secret Service, New York Field Office, announced the guilty plea.
“The defendant, a licensed lawyer, swindled his investors by claiming he was ‘flipping’ properties, when in reality the only thing he flipped was their millions of dollars in investments into his own personal bank accounts,” said Acting United States Attorney Lesko.
“The U.S. Secret Service, working in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, is dedicated to bringing those who commit financial crimes to justice,” stated USSS Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge Freaney. “The defendant used his position as an attorney to defraud victims who believed they were investing in real estate, when in actuality the defendant was misappropriating the funds for his personal gain. Due to the diligent investigative efforts of the Secret Service and FBI, the defendant has been brought to justice in the Eastern District of New York.”
The government’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Business & Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorney Hiral D. Mehta is in charge of the prosecution, assisted by Special Agent Martin Sullivan of the Eastern District of New York.
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