New York man pleads guilty in $165M multifamily loan fraud scheme

Boruch Drillman conspired with four others to obtain apartment complexes in Michigan, Ohio

Troy Technology Park in Troy, Michigan and Williamsburg of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio (CBRE, Williamsburg Cincinnati)
Troy Technology Park in Troy, Michigan and Williamsburg of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio (CBRE, Williamsburg Cincinnati)

A New York resident pleaded guilty in federal court to orchestrating a complex multi-year conspiracy to fraudulently obtain more than $165 million in loans and illegally acquire multifamily and commercial properties in Ohio and Michigan.

Between 2018 and 2020, Boruch “Barry” Drillman, 36, collaborated with at least four others to deceive lenders by presenting them with fictitious documents, including inflated purchase and sale contracts, for two properties, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In a March 2019 transaction, Williamsburg of Cincinnati was acquired for $70 million, but Drillman and his co-conspirators, using a stolen identity, presented lenders with a fraudulent $95.85 million purchase and sale contract. The scheme involved performing two closings — one for the actual sales price and another for the fraudulent amount.

In September 2020, Troy Technology Park was acquired for $42.7 million, with Drillman presenting a fraudulent $70 million purchase and sale contract to the lender. To support the inflated price, they submitted a fake letter of intent and other documents. They also arranged a short-term $30 million loan to create the appearance of adequate funds. Again, the co-conspirators had two closings: a true one and another fraudulent one.

Drillman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. 

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Drillman  was accused of being an absentee landlord for the Ohio property, and was sued by the city of Cincinnati in January after 1,000 tenants reported he did not maintain the complex, which had issues with flooding, vermin infestations and a lack of heat, WCPO reported

The lawsuit was merged with a foreclosure case by Fannie Mae, the outlet said. That public nuisance lawsuit was combined with a foreclosure case filed by Fannie Mae.

The complex, according to Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, had “conditions that no human being should live in,” the outlet said. 

A judge ordered Newmark to take over the property with a new temporary property manager.