Developer indicted for second time in two years

Developer indicted for second time in two years

Daniel Melamed, a Great Neck resident and Brooklyn real estate developer, was indicted for the second time in two years last Tuesday for schemes involving alleged residential mortgage fraud and larcenies, the state attorney general’s office announced.
Melamed, 40, and six others allegedly defrauded banks and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the use of shell corporations, forged letters and other schemes between 2011 and 2014.
“We have zero tolerance for mortgage fraud,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “The defendants not only allegedly stole money from the federal government and ultimately New York’s taxpayers, but also cheated the general public out of opportunities to bid on reasonably priced properties that were in foreclosure.”
“My office will continue working to ensure that fraudsters and swindlers are brought to justice no matter how long it takes,” Schneiderman added.
Melamed was indicted in June 2015 on charges of unlawful eviction, filing a false document and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly tearing down a 14-unit building around its remaining three tenants in an attempt to remove them from their rent-stabilized apartments.  
He was arraigned Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court and faces charges of second-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery and second-degree residential mortgage fraud.
If convicted, Melamed and his accomplices face up to seven years in prison.
In one alleged incident, the attorney general’s office said, he and two other men, Carmen Morales, 51, and Abraham Perez, 66, created and submitted false documents that bolstered Perez’s income to make it seem that he intended to occupy a Brooklyn building, which was a HUD requirement to receive a loan.
The attorney general’s office said Perez was approved for the loan, and after less than two years defaulted. HUD later paid more than $480,000 in taxpayer money to cover the loss.
“It is always disturbing when industry professionals who are expected to act as honest brokers exploit federal programs such as those administered by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration,” said Christina Scaringi, the special agent in charge of HUD’s Office of Inspector General. “We wish to thank the New York State Attorney General’s Office for their committed and steadfast efforts.”
Melamed and one of his associates, David Soufeh, 37, also allegedly recruited individuals who were in foreclosure and promised them relief from mortgage debt and cash, the attorney general’s office said.
To facilitate the alleged crime, the attorney general’s office said, Melamed, Soufeh, Curt Joseph, 48, and Denise Morales, 29, submitted a number of false documents.
Melamed and Morales are accused of creating multiple forgeries by cutting and pasting bank employee signatures and letterhead from certain banks onto false letters.
Through a fraudulent corporation purportedly owned by Morales, he purchased a property for $250,000 in 2013 and then sold it off about a year later for $1.25 million, the attorney general’s office said.
In another scheme, the attorney general’s office said, Melamed, Morales and Christopher Magliocca, 29, are charged with attempting to deceive JP Morgan Chase into approving a short sale of a property owned by Melamed’s mother to a corporation he controlled.
The case was investigated by William Martinez, a special agent for the HUD inspector general, and Anna Ospanova, an investigator for the attorney general, under the supervision of a supervising investigator, Sylvia Rivera, and a deputy chief investigator, John McManus.
The case is being prosecuted by John Spagna, special counsel and chief of the real estate enforcement unit, and Brian McDonald, senior counsel of the Public Integrity Bureau.

By Joe Nikic

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