LOWER MANHATTAN — A man who scammed four Harlem real estate investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday, Manhattan's DA said.
Dan Stern, 52, from The Bronx, opened a sham brokerage firm in East Harlem between October 2014 and May 2015 and bilked potential investors out of $250,000, officials said.
The phony firm, called Harlem Village Realty, put up listings for several properties for sale that belonged to other area real estate agents.
The properties included two churches and several buildings that were facing foreclosure or needed major repairs, officials said.
Stern would write up fake contracts when a buyer expressed interest and took down-payment checks, prosecutors said.
Stern spent the money on paying off credit cards, luxury cars and country club fees, officials said.
When the investors he scammed called him, Stern did not answer their calls. He has not returned any of their money, officials said.
He was charged with four counts of grand larceny and one of fraud.
He had pleaded guilty to the charges on Sept. 28.
He was sentenced Thursday to between three and six years in prison.
He was also ordered to pay $250,000 in a civil judgment.
“As long as New York’s real estate market continues to thrive, theft of this nature will persist," said Manhattan's DA Cyrus Vance.