The Real Deal New York

Man charged with profiting on fraudulent sale

April 20, 2009 06:32PM
By Adam Pincus

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Authorities charged a Manhattan real estate investor with allegedly selling an entire Bronx building he was only a minority partner in for more than $5 million and sending part of the proceeds to accounts outside of New York.

Mark Benun, 35, fraudulently sold the Bronx building which he only partially owned and sent about $150,000 of the proceeds to out-of-state accounts, according to the offices of the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which partnered in the investigation.

In June 2006, Benun legally bought a 25 percent share of 67-79 East 161st Street with a partner who purchased a 75 percent stake. Then in February 2009 Benun used false documents claiming he was the sole owner to sell the building for $4 million in cash and $1.96 million in a note the buyer gave Benun, prosecutors said. Benun then sold the note for $1.46 million, they said.

The funds he allegedly transferred out of the state were traced to his company MBM1 Owners LLC, authorities said.

Benun was arrested this morning at his home in Manhattan. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the criminal offense and fines of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme, whichever is greater, on a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property, the US Attorney’s office said.

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