Brooklyn Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Real Estate Investors
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Shimon Rosenfeld, an 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 proceeding was held before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto.
Mark J. Lesko, 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 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,” stated Acting United States Attorney Lesko. “It is particularly egregious that the defendant perpetrated this fraud scheme as a member of the bar who betrayed the trust of victims who believed his lies.” Mr. Lesko thanked the FBI for their outstanding investigative work on the case.
“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 and will face the appropriate consequences for his actions.”
Between May 2014 and March 2018, Rosenfeld perpetrated a fraudulent scheme by soliciting and receiving approximately at least $6 million from various individuals (the “Victims”) based on fraudulent misrepresentations. Specifically, 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 the Victims. 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.
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, assisted by Special Agent Martin Sullivan of the Eastern District of New York.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-236 (KAM)