A real estate agent who stole more than $22 million from her clients over two years has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison, the Department of Justice announced this week.
Emily Moerdermo Fu, a real estate agent and businesswoman in Atlanta, has been operating the company Capital Management since 2004.
The Suwanee, Georgia-based firm offered clients financing services and stakes in commercial properties around Atlanta, including medical centers and shopping malls worth millions of dollars. Through that and several other companies, Fu would lead clients to believe they had invested in various properties when, in reality, the money would often get diverted for her own purposes, according to the Department of Justice.
“While Fu was a well-respected real estate and financial professional, she took advantage of her reputation and clients’ trust to defraud them,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. ‘BJay’ Pak, in a prepared statement. “In some cases she created fictitious closings and then pocketed the money. In other instances, she went through with the closing and used the property as collateral for unauthorized loans for her own benefit, meanwhile embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in managing such properties.”
As part of the scheme, Fu would tell clients she completed the closings and was managing the properties when, in reality, the properties had never been sold. In July, Fu pled guilty to defrauding her clients and, this week, was sentenced to seven years, three months in prison and, once out, three years of supervised release. Fu will also have to pay restitution costs of $22,043,640.67.
“This announcement serves as a reminder to scam artists who blatantly commit fraud that they will be held accountable through the judicial system,” said Scott D. Fix, Acting U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge of the Charlotte Division in a statement.