Aaron Seltzer, an attorney from the eastern shore of Maryland, pled guilty earlier this week to wire fraud connected to a real estate investment scheme.
Seltzer had been a practicing real estate attorney in Crofton, Md. Between January 2008 and an unspecified time in 2010 Seltzer provided fraudulent investment opportunities to clients and diverted the funds for his own use.
In total Seltzer gained $768,242 from seven fraudulent transactions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, which brought this case. Seltzer will repay the total amount of funds stolen and faces up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 15, 2015.
The majority of the funds that were stolen came from an episode that began when Seltzer offered 45% of an Anne Arundel County (Md.) real estate company to an investor. Seltzer claimed he owned the company when in fact he did not. The investor gave $92,000 for that share of the company, which Seltzer used for himself. He then secured loans from an investor group assembled by a New York lawyer for a business loan backed by three commercial mortgages in Virginia. Seltzer then provided the New York attorney with a fraudulent promissory note and fabricated other documents to close the loan. Seltzer then received $497,527 from the investors via their attorney in New York.
Seltzer’s sentencing hearing will take place in Baltimore. He is no longer allowed to practice law. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations section gathered evidence for the case against Seltzer.