The Real Deal New York

Owners of Queens club tied to death of Sean Bell charged in $2M mortgage scam

March 09, 2010 02:24PM

The Queens District Attorney handed down a 327-count indictment against five individuals who allegedly orchestrated a $2 million mortgage fraud scheme by using fake identities to buy and sell Queens properties. District Attorney Richard Brown described the fraud as “brazen,” and said he believed that the “mortgage frauds perpetrated by these defendants were among the root causes of the severe economic downturn of the last few years.” Four of the five defendants, three of whom own the Club Kalua nightclub, have been captured, while the fifth remains at large. Club Kalua was the site of the infamous 2006 Sean Bell shooting incident, in which police shot three men including killing Bell, on the morning after his bachelor party. If convicted in the mortgage scam, the defendants could face prison terms of up to 15 years each. The three properties involved in the scheme, 120-18 132nd Street in Ozone Park, 56-10 Waldron Street in Corona, and 116-36 139th Street in Jamaica, were allegedly purchased with fake identities. “In this particular case, one of the frauds was so brazen that it allegedly involved the sale of a house by two people posing as sellers — one of whom was dead — to a third person posing as a buyer — with the defendants pocketing an astounding $250,000,” Brown said. “These types of financial crimes have real-life consequences and will not be tolerated.” TRD

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