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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Former Attorney Sentenced To More Than 3 Years In Prison For Defrauding Investors Of More Than $1 Million

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that BRANDON LISI was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud at least four individual investors in real estate transactions of more than $1 million.  LISI pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on April 3, 2017, for his role in the fraud.  LISI entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, who imposed today’s sentence.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As he previously admitted, Brandon Lisi, a former attorney, misled clients into investing over $1 million in real estate properties.  These investments yielded no profit for investors, because Lisi and his co-defendant simply pocketed the funds.  Now Brandon Lisi faces time in federal prison for his fraud.”  

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Financial crimes have the potential to turn lives upside down and inside out.  The victims in this case deserve to see justice served. As evidenced by today’s sentence, they will.  May this be a reminder to others that this type of behavior won’t go unpunished.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in related court proceedings:

LISI, a former attorney, and his co-conspirator, a practicing attorney, built relationships of trust with victim investors and then induced those investors to put money into fraudulent business deals.  Through the course of the scheme, LISI and his co-conspirator made false representations and failed to disclose material information to investors, all in an effort to induce them to hand their money over to invest in these purported deals.  LISI further caused another individual, acting at his direction, to make false statements in bankruptcy court in an effort to forestall foreclosure on one of the properties LISI had obtained.   Although LISI promised his victims large returns on their investments, he and his co‑conspirator used the invested funds for personal use, through substantial cash withdrawals, payments to relatives, and transfers to pay off personal debts.

Ultimately, the victims of this scheme lost nearly all of the money they had invested, which was more than $1 million in total.

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In addition to the prison term, LISI, 43, of Melville, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $1,438,358 and to pay $1,438,358 in restitution.

Mr. Kim praised and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their outstanding investigative work. 

If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact the Victim/Witness Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900.  For additional information, go to http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nys/victimwitness.html.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine Reilly, Noah Solowiejczyk, and Michael Lockard are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
17-304
Updated September 19, 2017