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Press Release

Real Estate Investor Sentenced in $3 million Wire and Bankruptcy Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT - Former real estate investor Sean Tissue, also known as “Sean Ryan,” was sentenced to 78 months’ in prison today arising from his role in perpetrating a $3 million investment and bankruptcy fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

Joining in the announcement was Acting Special Agent in Charge Devin J. Kowalski of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In February 2023, Tissue pleaded guilty to one count of Wire Fraud and one count of Withholding Information in a Bankruptcy Proceeding. During the plea hearing, Tissue acknowledged that his scheme cost investors and creditors approximately $3 million.

According to court documents, Tissue orchestrated a substantial real estate investment fraud scheme from approximately 2015 through 2021. Tissue and those working with him made numerous fraudulent representations to potential investors from Israel, India, South Africa, and other countries, trying to convince them to invest in supposed real estate in Michigan, Texas, and other locations. Many victims did invest funds with Tissue and lost those funds in the process.  To further the scheme and keep investor money flowing into it, Tissue caused false documents to be provided to investors, including fake deeds, fake wiring instructions, fake bank statements, fake leases, and fake inspection reports. Tissue even provided a fake name to investors (“Sean Ryan”). Tissue converted the $3 million in fraudulently obtained funds to his own personal use.

Tissue also engaged in bankruptcy fraud by knowingly and fraudulently withholding recorded information pertaining to his assets and financial affairs from the Bankruptcy Trustee after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2017.

“Sean Tissue lied repeatedly to investors over the course of many years, and his lies continued when he tried to escape his debts by filing for bankruptcy, stated U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison. “Today’s sentence provides substantial punishment for Tissue’s long history of fraud and reflects the serious consequences that await those who abuse our financial and bankruptcy systems.”

“The defendant defrauded his real estate clients and then attempted to escape the consequences by declaring bankruptcy. These actions not only harmed individual clients, but also impacted potential investments in the City of Detroit,” said Devin J. Kowalski, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “We would like to thank our partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Bankruptcy Trustee, for assisting the FBI as we investigate those who knowingly defraud organizations and bring them to justice.”

In addition to his term of incarceration, U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith also sentenced Tissue to a three-year term of supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Richard Roble and former Assistant United States Attorney Craig A. Weier. The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Bothe the United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI thank the United States Trustee’s Office for its assistance with this case.  

Updated July 24, 2023

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud