From the Asbury Park Press:
Almost $10 million in loans involving Solomon Dwek’s collapsed real estate empire have been referred to authorities for possible criminal prosecution, according to the court-appointed manager of Dwek’s holdings.
The manager, Donald M. Lomurro, has not accused Dwek — or anyone else — of obtaining loans for residential property purchases improperly, but he said “I’m suspicious there are crimes. The suspicion I have is theft.”
Lomurro said he informed the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office of his findings.
Dwek is facing federal bank fraud charges on allegations that he bounced a $25 million check last year. His empire of more than 350 properties in seven states is being dismantled by a judge to pay off more than $340 million in claims against him. Many of his investors have claimed fraud.
Lomurro said the suspicious debts include five mortgages totaling $3.3 million borrowed in the name of Dwek’s wife, Pearl, even though she does not own the properties, Lomurro said.
The failure to pay off old debt on some the properties identified by Lomurro has caused major problems for a couple who sold their Nighthawk Lane home in Jackson to Pearl Dwek last February.
The sale was to have paid off $370,000 in mortgages on the home of sellers Carl and Susan Wagner. The Wagners thought that’s what had happened until they received a foreclosure notice from their bank in October, said their lawyer, Walter P. Burrell of Red Bank.
“As a result, my clients’ credit rating has been destroyed,” he said. “They entered into what they thought was a legitimate sale and retired and moved to North Carolina, only to find out that their mortgage wasn’t paid off.”
In one of the cases, a loan of more than $1.2 million was issued in Pearl Dwek’s name on a Bridlemere Avenue property in Interlaken that she never owned, Lomurro said.
The property is the former home of area businessman Henry V. Vaccaro Sr., who said Solomon Dwek had defaulted on his contract to buy the property last April. The property was subsequently sold to someone else, but Lomurro said that Countrywide Home Loans nevertheless gave Pearl Dwek a loan to buy the house.
A common theme in the loans identified by Lomurro, all issued in early 2006, appears to be the purported involvement of 76-year-old Jerome Shapiro of West Long Branch.
Records indicate that Shapiro handled the closing for Pearl Dwek in at least five of the nine properties Lomurro cited, and Lomurro has asked a judge to order Shapiro to turn over all records he has related any Dwek property he worked on.