Crime: Gold Coast developer James Demetrakis gets probation for bank loan scam - - PressFrom - US
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Crime Gold Coast developer James Demetrakis gets probation for bank loan scam

23:10  20 november  2019
23:10  20 november  2019 Source:   northjersey.com

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Englewood-based developer James Demetrakis , 79, admitted last week to his role in a scheme to illegally obtain loans from Mariner’s Bank , according to.

The real estate magnate from Englewood, who spent decades erecting the canyon of gleaming riverside towers now known as the Gold Coast, also received a $75,000 fine for allegedly conspiring to defraud Mariner's Bank, the Bergen County-based lender founded by Daibes. He wept during his sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez.  

"I'm very sorry," Demetrakis offered, before being overcome with emotion. He then bowed his head as the judge imposed the sentence. 

The 80-year-old businessman admitted in April to securing $4.4 million in financing from the bank and then illegally passing the money back to Daibes in violation of federal banking rules. Daibes and Mariner's Chief Financial Officer Michael McManus have also been indicted but have plead not guilty.

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Demetrakis, who arrived in court on a motorized wheelchair, dabbed a tear from his eye and choked up when the judge asked if he had anything to say before sentencing. 

Defense attorney Edward J. Plaza said his client has been financially ruined, with banks refusing to lend to him. Plaza described how Demetrakis, the son of Greek immigrants, couldn't speak English when he first went to school in Jersey City. But he made something of himself, working his way through college and then law school by delivering mail, his lawyer said. 

Along with Daibes, he'd go on to create a real estate empire.

'A Greek tragedy'

"Your honor, this is the American Dream turned into a Greek tragedy," Plaza said. He added that Demetrakis is "emotionally broken, financially broken, and physically [broken]."

Demetrakis had faced up to five years in prison. But the federal prosecutor, Rahul Agarwal, citing Demetrakis' ill health and the fact that he repaid the loans, recommended a non-custodial sentence and the fine. 

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"I agree, this is a serious offense," Judge Vazquez said. But "it was critical"  that the loans were paid back, he said. 

Still, Demetrakis, a lawyer and real estate developer for more than 40 years, should have known better, Vazquez added. "He should have been aware of the impropriety" when he took the loans under false pretenses, the judge said. 

Demetrakis pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to deceive a financial institution and the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Daibes and McManus both face charges of misusing bank funds, making false entries to deceive a financial institution and the FDIC, and conspiracy. 

a man holding a microphone: Developer Fred Daibes © File photo Developer Fred Daibes

Demetrakis and Daibes have been responsible for much of the high-rise and high-end retail development in Bergen County, particularly in towns along the Hudson. Among a long list of construction projects, Demetrakis built the Infinity apartment complex in Edgewater, then sold it to an Israeli company for $48 million. He also built The Modern, a set of two 47-story towers in Fort Lee. 

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Daibes projects include the St. Moritz, the apartment complex that sits atop the highest point in Edgewater and offers a view all the way to Long Island.

Demetrakis admitted to orchestrating the loan scheme between January  2008 and December of 2013 to circumvent insider-lending regulations.

In June of 2008, Mariner's approved a line of credit to Demetrakis to "further his real estate interests," according to court records.. Demetrakis "concealed from Mariner's Bank that the $1.8 million nominee loan was for the benefit of Daibes, that Daibes would receive the proceeds of the loan, and that Daibes would be responsible for repaying the loan," according to information filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

a large brick building with a clock on the side of a road: The Liberty Commons project in East Rutherford © File photo The Liberty Commons project in East Rutherford

In March of the following year, Mariner's Bank approved a $2.6 million loan to two Demetrakis relatives. The money was earmarked for Liberty Commons, the strip mall project on Route 17 south in East Rutherford that Daibes was developing. The project included a new police station and municipal court.

Demetrakis bought the development from Daibes a month before the loan was approved. Later that month, Demetrakis entered into what the U.S. Attorney's Office called a "sham contract" to sell the project to his two relatives for $3.5 million. The relatives paid Demetrakis for the $2.6 million loan, but he never collected the rest of the money, prosecutors said in their complaint. 

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to get a bank loan , once i get to Dubai, and i am extremely reluctant to consider this, particularly as i have to serve a 6 month probation period, once i get there. Banks wont generally give you a loan until you give them a salary certificate from your employer that confirms that you have completed your

Expert Gold Coast Mortgage Brokers for all your Home Loan needs. Ocean Home Loans have assisted my husband and I over many years in sourcing the best home loan products for our needs. People who have changed jobs and are now on probation .

Richard Cowen covers Superior Court in Passaic County for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from criminal trials to local lawsuits and insightful analysis, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: cowenr@northjersey.com Twitter: @richardcowen123 

More New Jersey news

Loan Scheme: James Demetrakis pleads guilty to insider loan scam at Fred Daibes bank

Gold Coast: Fred Daibes is facing numerous legal issues, here is what you need to know

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This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Gold Coast developer James Demetrakis gets probation for bank loan scam

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