Broker Charged with Running $2M Real Estate Ponzi Scheme

Allison Tussey —  October 16, 2014 — Leave a comment

Marie Mikesche Bontigao, 43, West Chester, Pennsylvania, was charged by indictment for her alleged role in a fraud scheme wherein she solicited individuals to invest in her real estate projects but, instead of investing the lenders’ money in real estate, the funds were used to operate her business and pay personal expenses

She is charged with wire and mail fraud.

Bontigao was a licensed real estate broker who operated a franchise location of EXIT Realty in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware and was the founder of the EXIT Realty Tri-State Group: and Tri-State Investment Holdings, Inc.

According to the indictment, between 2007 and 2013, Bontigao solicited individuals to invest in her real estate projects but, instead of investing the lenders’ money in real estate used the funds to operate her business and to pay personal expenses. Bontigao allegedly bilked these lenders out of more than $2 million.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 80 years in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.

United States Attorney Zane David Memeger announced the charges.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise S. Wolf.

 

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