White Plains real estate developer accused of fraud
The U.S. Attorney's Office has charged a real estate developer from White Plains with wire fraud.
Officials say Michael D'Alessio, the former president and CEO of real estate development firm Michael Paul Enterprises, ran a scheme to defraud investors in luxury real estate development projects in Manhattan, the Hamptons and Westchester County.
The offices for D'Alessio's company used to be located on Water Street in White Plains, but the company moved out more than six months ago, according to the building manager.
A woman who works in the building tells News 12 that hasn't stopped people from coming by to look for their money.
"My clients along with other investors invested millions of dollars into D'Alessio and obviously we're concerned about any allegations of wrongdoing," said James Vincequerra, who with his partner Jennifer Kramer, is representing some of the investors accusing D'Alessio of fraud.
News 12 received a copy of the indictment, which accuses D'Alessio of taking steps to conceal his alleged fraud by deceiving investors about the progress of his real estate developments.
The indictment also reads in part: "In exchange for a purchase of shares, D'Alessio promised a guaranteed monthly interest payment and a share in the profits."
Upon receiving investor funds, D'Alessio allegedly channeled those funds through a series of bank accounts in the name of shell companies owned and controlled by D'Alessio.
According to prosecutors, D'Alessio was using the money to pay off his own debt and fund his gambling habit. They say he made payments to investors in the manner of a Ponzi scheme.
D'Alessio faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
News 12 reached out to D'Alessio's attorney, but has not heard back.