Fraud
3:48 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Metairie man gets prison for $3.4M real-estate scam

A Metairie man has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for defrauding hundreds of investors in a Texas real-estate deal out of millions of dollars.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk also on Thursday ordered Michael B. Smuck to pay more than $789,000 in restitution that he still owes investors. Prosecutors say Smuck already has paid nearly $3 million to one group of investors he bilked.

Smuck, who pleaded guilty in May 2010 to one count of mail fraud, solicited investments in acquiring a Houston apartment complex called Briar Meadows.

Prosecutors say Smuck sold the property in 2007 but misappropriated some of the proceeds to pay off unrelated debts rather than distribute the money to investors.

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