A Brooklyn attorney whose license was suspended has defrauded eight separate homeowners by swindling them out of properties worth nearly $8million, prosecutors said.
Sanford Solny, 63, on Monday was arraigned on a 63-indictment for allegedly scheming Brooklyn residents from May 2012 to November 2020.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office charged Solny with grand larceny, scheme to defraud and criminal possession of stolen property.
The DA’s report, obtained by DailyMail.com, said Solny targeted victims whose properties were in foreclosure and plotted to obtain the deeds to gain capital.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said Sanford Solny has been charged and arraigned over eight years of alleged real estate fraud. Pictured: 161 East 29th Street in East Flatbush
Prosecutors said Solny targeted homeowners whose properties faced foreclosure and convinced them to sign over the deeds. Pictured (left to right): 394 Monroe Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant and 2555 Bedford Avenue in Flatbush
Prosecutors said there is no record of Solny attempting to negotiate a short sale with any of the lenders for the properties in violation of federal and state laws. Pictured: 406 East 21st Street in Flatbush
Solny had a network to pull off the alleged real estate fraud, including unlicensed brokers, who contacted the victims and referred them to Solny to negotiate the fake sales.
He met with the seven victims at his office in Borough Park, where he convinced them that they needed to sign their deeds over to him to begin a short sale process.
Instead, Solny took ownership of the homes worth an estimated $7.8million.
‘Over the months and years that the defendant claimed to be in negotiations, when victims asked him about the negotiations, possible sales or when the foreclosure actions would end, he allegedly offered an array of excuses and explanations,’ the report said.
Solny was indicted on Monday and charged with grand larceny, scheme to defraud and criminal possession of stolen property. Pictured: 53 Van Buren Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant
Solny also allegedly collected more than $600,000 in rent from tenants he brought in or existing tenants he transferred from the victims: Pictured: 2 Jardine Place in Ocean Hill
The homeowners who were swindled lost their properties, rental income, saw tanking credit scores and the ability to obtain new loans gradually stilled. Pictured: 729 Eldert Lane in East New York
All the properties remain in lower-income neighborhoods like East Flatbush and Cypress Hills.
Prosecutors said there is no record of Solny attempting to negotiate a short sale with any of the lenders for the properties – violating federal and state laws that required records of such exchanges.
Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez: ‘Brooklyn’s valuable real estate market continues to be an attractive target for fraudsters willing to deceive homeowners.’ Pictured: 163 Montauk Avenue in Cypress Hills
‘In fact, on two of the properties, the defendant allegedly actively obstructed attempts by owners to sell their property without him,’ the report said.
Solny, of Midwood, also allegedly collected more than $600,000 in rent from tenants he brought in or existing tenants at the eight properties the victims transferred to him.
Properties Listed in Report
• 53 Van Buren Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant
• 163 Montauk Avenue in Cypress Hills
• 2 Jardine Place in Ocean Hill
• 161 East 29th Street in East Flatbush
• 2555 Bedford Avenue in Flatbush
• 406 East 21st Street in Flatbush
• 729 Eldert Lane in East New York
• 394 Monroe Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant
‘As record owner, if any of the properties were to be sold, the defendant would also benefit from the increase in value accrued over the last several years,’ the report said.
Subsequently, the victims were left with a turbulent financial fallout.
They lost their properties, rental income, saw tanking credit scores and the ability to obtain new loans gradually stilled.
Most of the foreclosures remain active.
Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez condemned the alleged real estate fraud in a statement on Monday.
‘Brooklyn’s valuable real estate market continues to be an attractive target for fraudsters willing to deceive homeowners.’ he wrote.
‘These victims, who trusted the defendant to help them avoid foreclosure, instead allegedly had their homes stolen by him and were left facing financial ruin. I urge anyone considering selling their property to be prudent about with whom they do business.
‘Be wary of any unsolicited offers of help with your property and do not sign any documents unless you consult with an independently retained attorney.
Solny’s attorney license was suspended in April 2012 after it was discovered he used his power of attorney to steal $600,000 from a man before he died, per Case Law.
He was released without bail and expected back in court on February 4. 2021.