Brooklyn Attorney Charged With Defrauding Real Estate Investors
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Allegedly Misappropriated At Least $4 Million From His Victims
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Shimon Rosenfeld, an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of New York since 1987, with defrauding multiple investors of at least $4 million by falsely claiming he was investing their funds in real estate opportunities. Rosenfeld was arrested this morning and made his initial appearance this afternoon via videoconference before United States Chief Magistrate Judge Cheryl. L. Pollak. The defendant was released on a $200,000 bond.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Patrick J. Freaney, Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Secret Service, New York Field Office (USSS), announced the charge.
“Through this alleged scheme, Rosenfeld abused his position as an attorney and betrayed his victims’ trust for his own selfish gain,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. “Those who commit fraud, including lawyers, must be brought to justice, and this Office will continue to work tenaciously to ensure integrity in the practice of law.”
“As alleged, Rosenfeld solicited investments based on his stated intent to purchase various real estate and 'flip' it for substantial profit. In reality, he didn't buy any properties, so there were none to sell. Rather, Rosenfeld used the money he received to make his own financial trades and investments. Today, we’ve flipped the script on him and held him accountable for his fraudulent actions,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
“The U.S. Secret Service remains dedicated to investigating those who commit financial fraud and would like to recognize the efforts of our law enforcement partners in helping bring them to justice,” stated USSS Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge Freaney. “This investigation exemplifies the success that law enforcement can achieve when working in a collaborative manner. In this instance, the defendant allegedly perpetrated a scheme to defraud and misappropriated funds from numerous victims for his own personal gain.”
According to the complaint, between May 2014 and March 2018, Rosenfeld allegedly perpetrated a fraudulent scheme by soliciting and receiving approximately at least $4 million from various individuals (collectively, the “Victims”) based on fraudulent misrepresentations. Specifically, Rosenfeld induced the Victims to invest their money with the defendant 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 further told the Victims that he would split the profits from the real estate transactions with the Victims. In reality, Rosenfeld misappropriated the investors’ money by directing the funds into bank accounts he controlled and using the money to trade securities out of his brokerage account. Rosenfeld falsely told the Victims that there were problems with the real estate transactions, such as title or appraisal issues, to explain why no properties had been purchased.
If convicted of wire fraud, Rosenfeld faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment. The charge in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business & Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorney Hiral D. Mehta is in charge of the prosecution.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-MJ-96
United States Attorney’s Office
Updated January 27, 2021