Industry News

Fugitive in real estate fraud scheme pleads guilty

Man masterminded fraud ring that stole $3 million

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The ringleader behind a large real estate scheme that bilked millions of dollars from lenders pleaded guilty Wednesday in Nassau County court in New York to attempted grand larceny and fraud charges. Sam Hilany, a.k.a, Nahum Hilany, 35, faces up to six years in prison and will have to pay restitution for the money he stole in illicit loans, according to Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon. Hilany's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19. Hilany was the mastermind behind a large identity theft and mortgage fraud scheme that was uncovered by the county's Criminal Frauds Bureau, according to Dillon. The scheme included real estate investors, an attorney, a title officer and an appraiser, he said, and enabled Hilany to steal $3,136,800. "This elaborate identity theft and mortgage fraud scheme involved stolen identities, paid 'straw borrowers,' falsified employment, income and asset information, and false property appraisals," Dillon said. "In one incident, by erecting a stree...