Real estate investor accused
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Metairie, Louisiana, man has been charged with mail fraud in connection of an alleged real estate scheme that cost investors at least $3.5 million.
Federal prosecutors allege that 61-year-old Michael Smuck sold a Houston apartment complex in 2007, then misappropriated the money to pay other debts rather than share the proceeds with investors.
Defense attorney Ralph Capitelli had no comment on the charge Wednesday.
The Times-Picayune reported that investors expect their losses to be much higher than the figure contained in the charge. Scores of investors have sued over their losses, accusing Smuck's company of keeping multiple sets of books and allowing its apartment complexes to deteriorate.