Bloomberg News

New York Man Sentenced Up to 18 Years for Real-Estate Scam

November 21, 2012

A New York man was sentenced to as long as 18 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $31 million in a real-estate swindle.

Joseph Greenblatt, 50, was sentenced by Justice Maxwell Wiley today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Greenblatt pleaded guilty last month to more than 30 counts, including grand larceny and securities fraud, in exchange for a sentence of six years to 18 years.

“I just want to say I’m very sorry for what has happened and to the victims,” Greenblatt said before the judge imposed the sentence.

Greenblatt was accused of persuading investors to place money with his Paramus, New Jersey-based company, Maywood Capital, to acquire or renovate property in upper Manhattan and resell it at a profit, prosecutors said.

Instead, he kept most of the money, using some of it to pay several million dollars in restitution owed under a separate criminal conviction against him in Brooklyn, New York, prosecutors said.

“He did pay restitution in that case and it came from the pockets of the victims in this case,” prosecutor Michael Kitsis said during the hearing. “Mr. Greenblatt has shown no ability over the last 20 years to lead a law-abiding life.”

Many of Greenblatt’s victims in the more recent case were elderly, Kitsis said. In a recorded statement played in court, one of the victims, Stephen Coffey, of Sarasota, Florida, called Greenblatt a “financial predator.”

“The only one he feels sorry for at this time is himself,” Coffey said in his statement.

The case is New York v. Greenblatt, 05439/2007, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: Christie Smythe in New York at csmythe1@bloomberg.net; Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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