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Investor Pleads Guilty To $54.7M Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy


Investor Aron Puretz pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding nearly $55M from lenders to buy properties over six years, according to the Justice Department.

From 2016-2022, Puretz and others deceived lenders into issuing loans for multifamily and commercial mortgages using fake financial statements and other documents, including purchase contracts with inflated prices. He also created nonprofit JPC Charities so the properties could be tax-exempt. 

Puretz, formerly of Apex Equity Group, hid ownership of the properties from the feds, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, by using the identities of associates from Apex. 

Properties included a technology park in Michigan and multifamily communities in Illinois and Arkansas. 

Puretz gave Freddie Mac and other lenders fake documents, including an inflated purchase and sale contract for $5.8M to buy the Illinois complex for $4.1M in 2017. He used a co-conspirator's identity to hide the sale from the government. A title and settlement company performed two closings, one for each price tag. 

This happened again in 2020 for the tech park. One closing was for $42.7M, and the other was for a phony $70M valuation given to the lender. The team used a fraudulent letter of intent and other counterfeit documents showing it would buy the property for $68M. It obtained a short-term $30M loan to hide the fraud, making it seem like it had the cash to close the loan. 

Puretz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and will be sentenced Oct. 30. He faces a maximum prison sentence of five years.