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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Real Estate Lawyer Charged in Fraud Scheme Faces More

Real estate lawyer charged in 2010 fraud scheme now accused of stealing $75,000 from Staten Island woman
The Staten Island Advance by John M. Annese  -  February 8, 2012

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A real estate lawyer already facing prosecution in a Brooklyn mortgage fraud scheme now stands accused of stealing a $75,000 down payment from a Staten Island woman who was selling her house. Prosecutors say Jarrett Haber, 45, of Hicksville, had already been indicted in Brooklyn -- alongside a disgraced rabbi who would later be accused of arranging two murders -- when he helped himself to the money in 2010. Haber was representing a friend of his who was selling her Bentley Street home for $475,000, and the buyer had placed $75,000 in an escrow account as a down payment, prosecutors allege. On July 29, 2010, the date of the closing, the money wasn't there, authorities allege. Haber told investigators the money was stolen from him, a law enforcement source said. Nevertheless, the source said, "The money came out of the account that he was in control over." A grand jury returned an indictment against Haber last month, charging him with second-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was arrested Monday and arraigned in state Supreme Court, St. George, according to Peter N. Spencer, a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan. Haber had been arrested back in Feb. 2010, accused of running a mortgage fraud scheme alongside Rabbi Victor Koltun of Brooklyn. That case is still pending. The two are accused of taking out a $225,000 mortgage on the home of a Brooklyn woman who was living in a nursing home. She got a call in October 2009 demanding payment on the mortgage, prosecutors said, which came as a surprise because she and her husband had owned the home since 1975, and hadn't had a mortgage on it since 1987. Investigators found out that Haber and Koltun fraudulently used several properties to secure a $225,000 mortgage, which they used to pay down a debt from another real estate scam in Long Island. Koltun ended up in much deeper trouble in December 2010 -- authorities in Newburgh, N.Y. say he hired two hardened felons to kill a former police officer and his nephew who were trying to extort money from him. Koltun was recently found mentally unfit for trial, according to Orange County Senior Assistant District Attorney David Byrne. Haber is being held without bail until his next court appearance. A call to his lawyer was not immediately returned today.


Anonymous said...

Here's another example of a lawyer just getting away with one outrageous crime after another. The ethics folks need to move quicker.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone miss the part that says:
"...a former police officer and his nephew who were trying to extort money from him..."?

Anonymous said...

Is there honor among lawyers and their associates? "A former police officer and his nephew who were trying to extort money from him' would make excellent companions in his jail cell. I wonder why the bar grievance cabal failed to remove him? Was he just like them in his heart?

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