Man charged with bilking Long Beach woman in real estate scam, say cops

Ketan Patel, 38, of Pennsylvania, was arrested Tuesday, Ketan Patel, 38, of Pennsylvania, was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in Manhattan and charged with third-degree grand larceny after a Long Beach woman reported he took $45,000 from her in a real estate scam, Nassau County police said. Photo Credit: NCPD

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A Pennsylvania man who advertised an investment opportunity in flipping homes was arrested in Manhattan Tuesday after bilking a Long Beach woman out of $45,000, Nassau police said.

Ketan Patel, 38, put his offer on Craigslist last year and met the victim, 41, in August 2013 in a diner, police said. He told her he was going to buy three homes in Orlando, Florida, and flip them, promising her a 63 percent return on her investment, police said.

"He says I'll double your money in six months," said Det. Sgt. Richard Harasym of the crimes against property squad.

She wrote a $45,000 cashier's check, and in the beginning, he'd text her back when she had questions, but he then went silent, police said.

"He dropped off the face of the Earth," Harasym said. "Of course, he has her 45 grand."

Patel never bought any homes, police said.

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He was on probation in Pennsylvania, after being convicted of driving while under the influence and wanted to talk to New York City probation officials about moving to New York City, Harasym said.

Detectives learned of the appointment at the New York City probation office in Manhattan and were there when he showed up, and then arrested him, police said.

Patel, of State College, Pennsylvania, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of third-degree grand larceny and was held pending $5,000 bail.

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