Former real estate investor sentenced for international fraud

Sean Tissue sentenced to more than six years in prison


A former real estate investor has been handed a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence for orchestrating a $3 million investment and bankruptcy fraud scheme. 

Sean Tissue, known as Sean Ryan, pleaded guilty in February to one count of wire fraud and one count of withholding information in a bankruptcy proceeding, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan

During the plea hearing, Tissue admitted that his fraudulent scheme cost investors and creditors around $3 million.

Tissue, according to court documents, operated a real estate fraud scheme between 2015 and 2021 in which he, along with accomplices, made false representations to potential investors from various countries, persuading them to invest in purported real estate ventures in Michigan, Texas, and other locations. 

To sustain the scheme and maintain a steady flow of investor funds, Tissue provided false documents to investors, including counterfeit deeds, wiring instructions, bank statements, leases, and inspection reports. He even used the alias “Sean Ryan” to deceive investors. 

Furthermore, Tissue engaged in bankruptcy fraud by knowingly and fraudulently withholding information about his assets and financial affairs from the bankruptcy trustee after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2017.

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U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison stated that Tissue’s lies to investors over many years and his attempts to evade debts through bankruptcy were egregious. 

“Today’s sentence provides substantial punishment for Tissue’s long history of fraud and reflects the serious consequences that await those who abuse our financial and bankruptcy systems,” Ison said.

Apart from the prison term, U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith sentenced Tissue to three years of supervised release.

Tissue is hardly the only person to be convicted of a real estate crime.

Last month, A Connecticut real estate agent was charged in connection with, and pleaded guilty to a fraudulent scheme involving short sales of government and bank-owned properties. 

Sheldon Haag, 34, of Glastonbury — who agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud — allegedly defrauded his clients over several years by engaging in fraudulent transactions with straw buyers, the U.S. Department of Justice in Massachusetts said in a press release.

The scheme involved acquiring properties owned by the clients of the brokerage where Haag worked and using straw buyers including a shell company set up by a co-conspirator.