A former attorney from New York will spend more than three years in prison for defrauding real estate investors out of at least $1 million.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Brandon Lisi received a sentence of 38 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud at least four individual investors in real estate transactions of more than $1 million. 

Earlier this year, Lisi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“As he previously admitted, Brandon Lisi, a former attorney, misled clients into investing over $1 million in real estate properties,” Joon Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “These investments yielded no profit for investors, because Lisi and his co-defendant simply pocketed the funds. Now Brandon Lisi faces time in federal prison for his fraud.”

According to court documents, Lisi, and his co-conspirator, a practicing attorney, built relationships of trust with investors and then convinced those investors to put money into fraudulent business deals.

As part of the scheme, Lisi and his co-conspirator allegedly made false representations and failed to disclose material information to investors in order to get them to invest in the fraudulent deals.

Lisi also allegedly convinced another individual to make false statements in bankruptcy court in an effort to slow the foreclosure process on one of the properties Lisi obtained.

In order to persuade the investors to participate in the deal, Lisi allegedly promised his victims large returns on their investments, but he and his co‑conspirator supposedly used the funds for themselves, by way of substantial cash withdrawals, payments to relatives, and transfers to pay off personal debts.

Ultimately, the victims of this scheme lost nearly all of the money they invested, which was more than $1 million in total.

In addition to the 38-month prison term, Lisi was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $1,438,358 and to pay $1,438,358 in restitution.

“Financial crimes have the potential to turn lives upside down and inside out,” William Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said. “The victims in this case deserve to see justice served. As evidenced by today’s sentence, they will. May this be a reminder to others that this type of behavior won’t go unpunished.”