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New federal fraud charges for Vineyard Commons developer

A grand jury indictment has been announced for three men involved in the development of a luxury apartment community for senior citizens. One of those men, a developer for the project, was already charged in January. The new charges are similar in nature to those in the earlier indictment, but add two other individuals, both from Pennsylvania, as co-conspirators. Now all three face federal fraud charges in a case that reaches back to 2009.

Prosecutors assert that the developer lied to the lender in order to gain access to funding for the project. The loan for the construction project was estimated at $46.5 million. The developer is accused of abusing his position in order to defraud the lender and enrich himself in the process. Because the loan was guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, he is also accused of defrauding that entity, as well.

The developer is said to have offered kickbacks to the company that employed the other two men included in the indictment. They are charged with mail fraud, conspiracy and making false statements on loan and credit applications. The developer is charged with those same crimes, in addition to wire fraud, false statements in violation of the U.S. Code and monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

In addressing these serious federal fraud charges, these three men face significant prison time if a conviction is achieved. In addition, prosecutors are seeking seizure of real and personal property owned by all three men, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The developer has already completed a personal bankruptcy filing, and a conviction on fraud charges could end his ability to pursue a career in construction development. As they move forward in the legal process, additional information may be made available.   

Source: poughkeepsiejournal.com, "Vineyard Commons developer indicted again", Craig Wolf, May 7, 2015

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