BROOKLYN, NY — A woman is facing grand larceny charges for a $1.3 million real estate scam that involved more than a dozen properties in Brooklyn, prosecutors announced.
Regine Norman, also known as Regine Ellis, was arraigned Thursday on a 40-count indictment stemming from a years-long scheme where she told investors she would buy them properties through a private auction, prosecutors said.
Instead, Norman would either hold onto the money or use it to pay back other, newer investors who demanded their money back. It turns out, the private auction company she claimed to be a part of didn’t exist, according to prosecutors.
“This defendant allegedly created an elaborate ploy to convince people to invest their money in what amounted to a Ponzi scheme,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “This is another example where Brooklyn’s valuable real estate market was exploited for criminal gains. We will now seek to get justice for the many individuals who were swindled out of thousands of dollars.”
Norman, 66, ran the real estate scam for more than two years, most recently in September 2020, In all, she swindled 14 victims out of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each, prosecutors said.
Each time, she would tell victims that she had access to properties in Brooklyn and the New York area because she was a member of a private real estate auction, convincing them to hand over a “down payment” for the property, prosecutors said. The properties included more than a…