Friday, February 12, 2016

Feds: Philly real estate agent stole $1M from clients

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A Philadelphia real estate agent is accused of stealing more than $1 million in rent, tax and bill payments that were supposed to be passed along to his clients.

Federal authorities on Friday charged Joseph N. Reilly, 69, with one count of mail fraud. Prosecutors said Reilly acted as property manager for clients of his company, Joseph N. Reilly Real Estate.

Reilly collected rent, real estate tax and utilities payments from tenants on property owners’ behalf. He kept track of income and expenses for properties under his company’s management, mailing monthly financial statements to both owners and tenants, officials said.

But, between January 2009 and September 2011, Reilly allegedly altered those statements to make it appear as though Reilly Real Estate had sent rent and bill payments on to property owners and utilities companies. 

Prosecutors said Reilly actually pocketed the money, stealing an estimated $1,048,639 in payments from 50 clients.

Reilly allegedly sent a statement to at least one property owner stating there was $490,565.58 in the owner’s bank account. Prosecutors said the balance was actually $86.80.

The Better Business Bureau, which lists Reilly Real Estate's offices as being located on the 1700 block of South Street, assigned the firm an F rating, alleging it has failed to respond to at least four customer complaints.  

If convicted, Reilly faces a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.


Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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