The Real Deal New York

Disbarred lawyer who masterminded real estate scam gets up to 22 years in prison

Domenick Crispino swindled BK homeowners out of more than $1M
April 24, 2017 04:15PM

Domenick Crispino (left)
(Credit: Facebook/Dealin Straight via DNA Info)

A disbarred lawyer who stole more than $1 million from homeowners by pretending to protect them from foreclosure was sentenced to between 11 and 22 years in prison.

Domenick Crispino was convicted last month on charges that included grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records, the New York Daily News reported. Prosecutors said he stole nearly $1.1 million from distressed homeowners by telling them he’d help them avoid foreclosure. Instead, he stole money the clients gave him to hold in escrow accounts to pay down mortgages.

Crispino was also convicted of a fraud scheme in 1999 and served a six-year stint in prison. Afterward, he hosted a radio show called “Dealin’ Straight” with another former lawyer/ex-con.

Although he did not have a license to practice law, Crispino posed as a lawyer and defrauded residents across Brooklyn as part of the latest scam, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office alleged.

In one case, Crispino stole almost $600,000 from a man who was trying to help a friend save his home. On another occasion, he forged a satisfaction of mortgage record and a deed transfer to claim a homeowner had sold him a Gravesend property for $10. He then stole $47,500 from a potential buyer, who’d given him the money as a down payment.

“This defendant can only be described as a financial predator, stealing as much money as he could from as many victims as he could find,” acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, according to the newspaper. “I will not allow con artists to profit from Brooklyn’s rising home values, and my office will continue to target shameful frauds like these.”

Last month, a grand jury indicted 11 people and two Queens-based companies on allegations they tricked homeowners into signing away their properties.  [NYDN]Miriam Hall