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Real Estate Investment Scheme Leads to Arrest

Federal agents arrested the leader of a real estate investment scam based on charges that the alleged perpetrator ran a scheme that resulted in the losses of at least $200 million. Eliyahu Weinstein, aka “Eli Weinstein” was arrested at his home on Thursday, August 12, 2010.

Federal regulators have charged Weinstein, 35, of Lakewood, New Jersey, with one count of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud for his involvement in the elaborate investment scam. According to charges, Weinstein targeted fellow members of his Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey, as well as an investor from the United Kingdom.

Agents also arrested Vladimir Siforov, 43, of Manalapan, New Jersey and charged him with one count of wire fraud.

Among the allegations, the duo apparently lied about the properties that they owned and sold fake interest in properties. They have also been accused of making threats, deliberate misrepresentations and using counterfeit checks to facilitate closings.

“Weinstein is charged with offering an array of lucrative investment opportunities that served the single purpose of fattening his wallet,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “It is always offensive when someone steals from others to finance his own luxurious lifestyle, but it is especially galling to exploit a community with whom one shares an inherent trust.”

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