Charlotte Property Investor Frank Enrique Lleras Admits To Real Estate And Securities Fraud Using Foreign Investors
Charlotte property investor Frank Enrique Lleras pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court on Wednesday.
Lleras admitted he cheated at least 20 victims out of over $3 million. He also admitted using the money on himself to purchase expensive jewelry for nearly three years.
Lleras was charged with wire fraud. He created a scheme involving real estate properties and securities fraud.
Lleras was also the chief investment officer, executive vice president, and co-founder of Optimum Property Investments LLC.
Optimum Property Investments LLC lured victims to invest by claiming they purchased foreclosed and/or distressed homes in Mecklenburg County. The company then resold and/or leased them.
Investors believed Lleras was using the money to buy the properties.
Prosecutors claim Lleras frequently traveled to the Dominican Republic. He would then recruit medical professionals into investing with Optimum. He would make bogus claims that he was buying real estate in their names. The investors would make a sizable profit by remodeling the properties and then renting or selling them.
Lleras executed the scheme by creating bank accounts under the names of limited liability companies that were association with each victim.
Lleras also created fake documents, including fake tax bill receipts, fake deeds, and false bank statements, on purchase of the properties to send to the victims.
The Charlotte property investor paid off Optimum debts with money raised by investors. He would purchase property for the firm instead of the victims. Furthermore, he would use the funds to support his lifestyle and other business operations.
Lleras faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million for the securities fraud charge. The wire fraud charge carries a fine of $250,000 and maximum prison time of 20 years.
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