Andrew Daniel, 48, Brentwood, New York, has been arrested for allegedly posing as a real estate agent in a scheme that defrauded an investor of nearly $200,000 in down payments for numerous properties.
The defendant was arrested by DA investigators and charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony). Nassau County District Court Judge Joy Watson set bail at $25,000. Daniel faces a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted and was due back in court on October 9, 2014.
Between April and July 2011, Daniel represented himself as a real estate agent and negotiated the sale of 49 properties that he claimed were distressed to an investor from Hollis, Queens. The investor gave Daniel down payments for the properties totaling $191,300.
In 2013 the investor contacted the Criminal Investigations Bureau of the New York State Department of Financial Services, which referred the case to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
Investigators found that the 49 checks given to Daniel were meant to be held in escrow but were instead cashed by Daniel. It was also found that the 49 properties were in fact not distressed, and some were actually occupied by their owners.
The properties were spread across Eastern Queens and Nassau, in Queens Village, Bellerose, Rosedale, Hempstead and Valley Stream, New York.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the arrest.
Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of DA Rice’s Government and Consumer Fraud Bureau is prosecuting the case. Daniel is represented by James D’Angelo, Esq.
“The Department of Financial Services and my office will investigate and prosecute crimes like this aggressively, but all home buyers and investors should be extra-careful and vet the people and properties they do business with,” DA Rice said.
“We will continue to take aggressive action to root out these types of unscrupulous schemes — and hold accountable those who would try to prey on vulnerable consumers,” said Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services. “We thank DA Rice and her office for their exceptional work and partnership in this case.”