A Freeport man tried to scam a lender and took thousands of dollars in down payment from a couple to sell a Brooklyn property he never owned, the state attorney general's office said.
Fedlaire Aristide, 46, was arrested Wednesday and arraigned in Brooklyn State Supreme Court on a 10-count indictment, including charges of second-degree attempted grand larceny, third-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery and second-degree attempted residential mortgage fraud, officials said.
Starting in 2010, Aristide submitted a fake sales contract and other forged documents to Wells Fargo to convince the lender to approve a short sale, in which the lender would let the homeowner sell for less than what is owed on the mortgage, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. That meant Aristide would have equity on the property once the sale went through and he could get tens of thousands of dollars by tapping into that equity, officials said.
Aristide also took $20,500 from a Brooklyn couple on the same property in 2011, saying he would sell it to them once he bought it in a short sale, authorities said. He said he was a real estate agent, but he is not licensed, officials said.
He kept the couple's money, even after Wells Fargo rejected the short sale, state officials said.
Bail for Aristide was set at $10,000. His attorney could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.