New York, N.Y. - (Feb. 25, 2009) LEV L. DASSIN, Acting United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York announced today that IVY WOOLFTURK, a Manhattan real estate developer, pleaded guilty in
Manhattan federal court to participating in a $27 million mail
and wire fraud conspiracy.
WOOLF-TURK was initially charged in a Complaint that
alleged as follows: WOOLF-TURK, working through a Manhattan real
estate development company -- The Kingsland Group, Inc., and
related entities (collectively, "The Kingsland Group") --
fraudulently induced approximately 70 individuals to lend the
Kingsland Group over $27 million, purportedly to fund the
renovation of approximately sixteen multi-family apartment
buildings located in upper Manhattan. WOOLF-TURK and a coconspirator, MICHAEL HERSHKOWITZ, falsely represented that the
lenders would hold, as collateral for the loans, interests in
bona fide first mortgages in the various properties in which they
thought they were investing. In fact, the lenders did not hold
recorded, first mortgages in the properties. Interest was paid
on the loans for some years after they were first made, but
ultimately the principal on the loans was not repaid when due and
it was determined that the lenders did not have valid first
mortgages on the properties in question.
WOOLF-TURK, 52, of Port Washington, New York, pleaded
guilty before United States District Judge NAOMI REICE BUCHWALD
to a one-count Information charging conspiracy to commit mail and
wire fraud. She faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison. In
addition, the Information contains a forfeiture allegation for
over $27 million, representing the funds obtained through the
fraud. WOOLF-TURK is scheduled to be sentenced on May 27, 2009.
Charges against HERSHKOWITZ, 52, of New York, New York,
are pending. The charges against HERSHKOWITZ are merely
accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven
Mr. DASSIN praised the investigative work of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation in this case.
This investigation is being handled by the Major Crimes
Unit of the United States Attorney's Office. Assistant United
States Attorneys HARRY A. CHERNOFF and MARCUS A. ASNER are in
charge of the prosecution.
SOURCE: United State Department of Justice -- Southern District of New York