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Feds: Association Defrauded Condo Owners

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A north suburban man and his partner in Arizona have been charged with stealing more than $2 million from a condo association, by failing to provide property management services after being paid for them.

Donald Doering, 63, of Wilmette, and Jay Strauss, 75, of Scottsdale, Ariz., were charged with three counts of wire fraud in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Strauss, 75, acted as chairman of Regent Realty, while Doering served as the business’s president. They contracted to provide 48 condominium associations with property management services but actually used the money for other personal expenses, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

They allegedly defrauded more than 250 condo owners of about $2 million in the fraud scheme over the course of 3 years, the indictment alleges. Payments made to Regent Realty Group were to be used for management and maintenance of properties or kept in separate bank accounts for the benefit of the individual associations.

But Strauss and Doering allegedly used the money to make payments on personal debt incurred on an unrelated real estate development project, the indictment alleges. To conceal the fraud, they created false monthly financial reports for each property.

Over the course of the scheme, from 2005 until January 2008, they defrauded their victims of more than $2 million, the indictment alleges.

Each count of wire fraud carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, the release said. Restitution is also mandatory.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)