Two men from Atlantic County, New Jersey, have been sentenced for using fake deeds to defraud real estate investors. Richard Toelk Jr. received three years in prison for theft by deception, while his business partner, attorney Keith Smith, received five years’ probation. The duo defrauded investors of about $580,000 through fake documents and crafted at least 20 fraudulent deeds for real estate in Atlantic City. Toelk’s defense attorney motioned to have his guilty plea withdrawn, but the request was denied. The men were ordered to pay the defrauded amount in restitution.
Two Atlantic County men have been sentenced for their involvement in a fraudulent real estate scheme that defrauded investors of approximately $580,000. Richard Toelk Jr., 54, of Atlantic City received a three-year prison sentence for theft by deception, while his business partner, Keith Smith, 60, an attorney from Egg Harbor Township, received five years’ probation.
The duo used fake deeds to defraud real estate investors. Investigators found that they had crafted at least 20 fraudulent deeds for real estate in Atlantic City, filing them with the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office from November 2018 through January 2019. Buyers were deceived by the elaborate fraud, complete with convincing-looking fake documents.
“Buyers placed their trust in these two defendants and handed over large sums of money to them, after being deceived by this elaborate fraud, complete with convincing-looking fake documents. But they were betrayed and taken advantage of,” said state Attorney General Matthew Platkin in a statement.
Toelk’s defense attorney motioned to have his guilty plea withdrawn, but the request was denied by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor.
The courts have ordered the men to pay restitution of $580,000 to the defrauded investors.
This case highlights the importance of due diligence when it comes to real estate transactions. Investors must be cautious and do their research to ensure that all documents are legitimate and that the people involved in the transaction are trustworthy.
Real estate fraud is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for the victims. It is essential that law enforcement agencies work tirelessly to bring those involved in such schemes to justice.
The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability played a crucial role in uncovering this fraudulent real estate scheme. Through their hard work, the victims of this scam now have an opportunity to recover their losses.
The sentencing of Toelk and Smith sends a clear message that real estate fraud will not be tolerated in New Jersey. Those who engage in such activities will be held accountable for their actions.
It is important that investors and real estate professionals remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities. By working together, we can prevent real estate fraud and protect innocent victims from financial ruin.
To encapsulate everything, this case serves as a reminder that due diligence and caution are crucial when it comes to real estate transactions. Investors must be diligent in their research and ensure that all documents are legitimate before entering into any agreements.
Furthermore, the swift action taken by law enforcement in this case demonstrates the commitment of the state of New Jersey to combat real estate fraud.
It is essential that we continue to work together to prevent real estate fraud and ensure that justice is served for the victims of such schemes.