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A New Jersey man pled guilty to orchestrating a massive multi-year scheme to deceive lenders of over $54.7 million in loans and acquire many multifamily and commercial properties.

Court filings revealed that Aron Puretz, 53, meticulously worked with others over six years to defraud lenders into giving multifamily and commercial mortgage loans between 2016 and 2022. Puretz and his co-conspirators gave the lenders forged documents such as inflated purchase contracts, false financial statements, and other fraudulent documents.

The 53-year-old man worked for Apex Equity Group, a real estate investment and advisory firm, and was a co-owner of Maple Lawn in Eureka, Illinois, Big Country Chateau in Little Rock, Arkansas, both multifamily properties, as well as Troy Technology Park in Troy, Michigan, a commercial property.

Maple Lawn, a community-centered property, was purchased for $4.1 million in February 2017. However, Puretz and his Apex Equity Group co-conspirators used a co-conspirator’s name to present a lender and Freddie Mac with a $5.8 million purchase and sale contract and other bogus documents.

On February 17, 2017, a title and settlement business in Lakewood, New Jersey, conducted two closings, one for the genuine $4.1 million sales price and the other for the false $5.8 million sales price submitted to the lender.

Furthermore, part of the conspiracy was forming a nonprofit corporation, JPC Charities, to obtain tax-exempt status for Puretz and co-conspirators’ properties.

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Puretz and his co-conspirators presented fraudulent information to the city of Eureka, Illinois, to get a property tax exemption, causing more harm to the community.

Court filings show that Puretz and his co-conspirators purchased Big Country Chateau in July 2019.

Puretz, on the other hand, was aware that the lender and Freddie Mac would not approve of him as an owner, so he used the identity of an associate rather than himself.

Furthermore, Peretz concealed his ownership and role in the property management company from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal and state organizations.

Troy Technology Park was acquired for $42.7 million in September 2020. However, Puretz and his co-conspirators supplied the lender with a $70 million bogus purchase and sale contract.

To support the inflated purchase price, Puretz and his co-conspirators provided the lender and appraiser with a bogus letter of intent to purchase the property from another party for $68 million, as well as other fraudulent documents.

To disguise the fraudulent nature of the transaction, Puretz and his co-conspirators secured a short-term $30 million loan, which was used to make it look like they had the means to close on the loan.

On September 25, 2020, a title and settlement business in Lakewood, New Jersey, conducted two closings: one for the true $42.7 million sales price and one for the fake $70 million sales price submitted to the lender.

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The 53-year-old man pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against a financial institution.

Puretz is set to be sentenced on October 30 and faces a maximum term of five years.

A federal district court judge will impose a sentence after examining the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory circumstances.


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