Manhattan man indicted in mortgage scheme

A Manhattan man was indicted yesterday for interstate transportation of the proceeds from the fraudulent sale of a Bronx building, according to a press release from the office of Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The man, Mark Benun, along with an unnamed co-purchaser, allegedly bought a commercial property at 67-79 East 161st Street in the Highbridge neighborhood for $9.5 million in 2006. Benun had a 25 percent interest and his co-purchaser had a 75 percent interest in the property, which they bought with $4.5 million in cash and a $5 million mortgage, the release said. This year, Benun allegedly sold the property, of which he claimed to be the sole owner, for $5.96 million. Benun created false satisfactions of the property’s mortgages and a fraudulent transfer of ownership from his co-owner to Benun, according to the release. Benun allegedly withdrew about $1.4 million of the proceeds from the sale and purchased gold bars. TRD

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