Acting District Attorney
April 21, 2017
COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION
Disbarred Lawyer Sentenced to up to 22 Years in Prison for
Stealing Over $1 Million through Fraudulent Real Estate Deals
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a disbarred lawyer from Staten Island was sentenced to 11 to 22 years in prison for running long-term frauds in connection with two distressed properties in Brooklyn. The defendant, who graduated from Georgetown Law in 1987 and was disbarred after being charged of felony larceny in 2001, stole over $1 million in the present case from a number of different victims, sometimes pretending to be a legitimate attorney when it suited his schemes.
Between February 15, 2011, and June 29, 2015, the defendant, Domenick Crispino, 53, of Tottenville, Staten Island, executed long-term frauds for personal profit, using two private homes in Brooklyn that were subject to foreclosure: 35 Bay 7th Street in Bath Beach and 1848 West 7th Street in Gravesend.
In the case of the Bay 7th Street property, the defendant represented himself as an attorney and offered to help the elderly owner keep the house despite missed mortgage payments. The homeowner, who was a frail 95-year-old and knew the defendant through a late son, was desperate to remain in the house he had lived in for many decades. The defendant eventually stole $597,750 from the owner’s friends in funds the defendant said were being held in escrow. Further, after the owner’s death, the defendant stole a down payment of $86,800 from sisters who were trying to buy the property.
In the case of the West 7th Street property, which also was in a foreclosure proceeding, the defendant forged a deed in 2011, transferring ownership of the house — worth about $385,000 — to his company for $10. In 2012, he went on to steal yet another down payment — this time $47,500 from a husband and wife interested in buying the home – and in 2014, the defendant “sold” the same house, which he had never owned, to a different couple, stealing $252,461.27.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant can only be described as a financial predator, stealing as much money as he could from as many victims as he could find. Using his knowledge of the law, he repeatedly exploited the victims to enrich himself. I will not allow con artists to profit from Brooklyn’s rising home values, and my Office will continue to target shameful frauds like these.”
Read the full press release here.