White-Collar Crime

Lawyer takes plea in ex-police officer's $4.7M real estate investment swindle

A New York City lawyer has admitted he participated in a conspiracy with a retired city police sergeant to entice investors to put $4.7 million into a plan to develop a condominium project in the Dominican Republic–a project that doesn’t exist.

Authorities said attorney Edward Adams and James Monahan almost immediately began withdrawing the money after it was deposited into escrow between 2008 and 2009, the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) reports.

Adams pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Manhattan to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Monahan pleaded guilty last month to mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Almost all of the money had been taken from escrow by June of 2009, and almost no work had been done on the Praderas Project at that point, the release says.

Monahan’s Panam Management Group Inc. was supposed to develop the condominium. In May 2009, the release says, Monahan mailed a forged bank letter to investors claiming that their money was on deposit at the bank.

Neither defendant has been sentenced. Adams faces a maximum term of five years. Monahan could get as much as 20 years on each count.

See also:

Reuters (2012): “NY attorney, ex-cop, accused in $4.7 mln real-estate swindle”

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