A Brooklyn attorney is accused of bilking real estate investors out of at least $4 million in a home-flipping scheme.
The defendant, Shimon Rosenfeld, allegedly lured would-be real estate investors over a period of four years by promising to buy properties with their money, flip the homes and share the profits with the sellers. Instead, Rosenfeld reportedly pocketed the money and used it to trade securities, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court this week.
On Wednesday, Rosenfeld appeared before United States Chief Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak, and was released on $200,000 bond.
“Today, we’ve flipped the script on him and held him accountable for his fraudulent actions,” said William Sweeney, an assistant director-in-charge at the FBI.
In one example, prosecutors allege that Rosenfeld received about $1 million between 2015 and 2017 from an investor to purchase real estate in Greenpoint. When the jilted investors asked the defendant for their money, he allegedly attempted to delay the payments; in one email to a victim, he wrote that “August is a tuff [sic] month to get things done.”
Some of the alleged victims repeatedly gave Rosenfeld money to carry out real estate investments, not knowing that he was funneling the money through his brokerage’s bank accounts. One of Rosenfeld’s purported victims lost $900,000, according to prosecutors.
Rosenfeld could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of wire fraud.