De Lage Landen and other investors were allegedly defrauded $3.5 million by Michael Conway, the president of Choice Office Solutions. Conway was arrested Wednesday by the FBI on charges that he committed wire fraud and identity theft in order to forge lease agreements.
According to the charges, which were released in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday morning, from approximately March 2014 to August 2015, Conway forged lease agreements with various companies in the business of leasing office equipment and then used these fraudulent agreements to obtain financing from private investors.
As part of the scheme, Conway is said to have induced an individual investor to become partners with him in the leasing business. Conway would then purportedly secure a lease from a company, present the signed lease and invoices to the individual investor, who would provide funds to purchase the office equipment to be leased. In this manner, Conway presented the individual investor with leases from approximately 58 companies, including law firms, universities, hospitals, and hotels, and the individual investor paid Conway approximately $3.1 million to purchase office equipment. In reality, most of the leasing agreements that Conway provided to the individual investor were fraudulent, and Conway pocketed most of the individual investor’s money.
One of the fraudulent leasing agreements was purportedly with the New York Mets, with Conway forging an authorization letter from Jeffrey Wilpon, the Mets COO.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, if convicted, Conway would face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 22 years.
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