Property scam in Connecticut may extend into other states

Land owner and developer who became victims of a fraudster may not be alone as FBI investigates similar case

Fairfield Home Scam May Cross State Lines
A photo illustration of 51 Sky Top Terrace in Fairfield, Connecticut (Getty, Google Maps)

The owner of a parcel in Fairfield, Connecticut, was a victim of a scam, as were the developers of the property who unwittingly bought the site from a fraudster. Now it appears that victims could be more widespread than previously imagined.

As the various parties duke it out in court, officials are sounding the alarm on a scheme that also appears to have connections to Rhode Island and Florida, the New Haven Register reported. The FBI is looking into the multi-state scheme.

A Fairfield police detective contacted a member of the FBI’s New Haven office, who disclosed that a scammer in the case had “money sent to a money mule in Florida.” The Rhode Island FBI office, meanwhile, was looking at a similar case involving the same mule account in the Sunshine State, planning to incorporate the Fairfield situation into its own investigation.

The FBI does not usually comment on active investigations.

Originally, the situation appeared limited to a couple of parties. The development team of 51 Sky Top Partners claimed they were victims in a fraudulent purchase of 51 Sky Top Terrace in Fairfield, which they thought was legally purchased for $350,000. They went as far as to develop a home and list it for $1.5 million.

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Then, Long Island doctor Daniel Kenigsberg returned to his hometown, only to discover a home being built on his family’s land without his knowledge. Kenigsberg sued the developers and a lawyer allegedly involved in executing the scam, seeking up to $2 million in damages and a restoration of the land to its original state.

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51 Sky Top Partners tried to give Kenigsberg $500,000 for his troubles, but was rebuffed. The developers have claimed they had no knowledge of the scam and even filed a lawsuit of their own against the real estate professionals involved in the transaction, including the developer’s own attorney and an agent with Keller Williams.

The developer and Kenisgberg are working towards a settlement, though it’s unclear who will come out with the land and what state it will need to be in.

Holden Walter-Warner