Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to $3 Million Wire and Bankruptcy Fraud Scheme | USAO-EDMI

Johnnie Pratt

DETROIT– A real estate investor pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing over $3 million in a wire and bankruptcy fraud scheme, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced.

Ison was joined in the announcement by James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Sean Tissue, also known as “Sean Ryan,” age 37, of Social Circle, Georgia, and formerly of Rochester, Michigan, pleaded guilty to Wire Fraud and Bankruptcy Fraud before United States District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith. Tissue was the owner of numerous companies, including The Centureon Companies LLC, Greystone Home Builders LLC, Sycamore Homes LLC, Lenovo Homes LLC, NROL Holdings LLC, Phillip Ryan LLC, Boardwalk Heights B2R LLC, NROL Property and Investment LLC.

 According to the information provided to the Court at the guilty plea hearing, Tissue engaged in a real estate investment fraud scheme from 2015 through 2021. During that period, Tissue made, or caused others to make, false and fraudulent representations to induce potential investors from Israel, India, South Africa, and other countries to invest in real estate in Michigan, Texas, and other locations. Tissue, either directly or through agents, provided false and fraudulent material information to investors to induce them to invest and send him money through interstate or international wire transactions. To further the scheme, Tissue caused various false documents to be provided to investors, including fake deeds, fake wiring instructions, fake bank statements, fake leases, and fake inspection reports. Tissue also provided a fake name to investors (“Sean Ryan”). Tissue operated the scheme in the Eastern District of Michigan, and fraudulently obtained over $3 million.

In November 2017 through May 9, 2019, Tissue also engaged in bankruptcy fraud scheme by fraudulently withholding recorded information pertaining to his assets and financial affairs from the Bankruptcy Trustee after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Tissue was initially arrested on a complaint charging him with wire fraud and has been in custody ever since.

Tissue faces statutory maximum penalties of 20 years in prison for wire fraud and 5 years in prison for bankruptcy fraud. Judge Goldsmith will ultimately determine the appropriate sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

“Sean Tissue orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud individual investors. He tried to avoid repaying those investors by declaring bankruptcy, and his lies and deceits continued in the bankruptcy proceeding,” said U.S. Attorney Ison.  “This guilty plea is an important step towards holding Mr. Tissue accountable for his actions and reflects my office’s commitment to prosecuting financial crime and protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system.”

“This defendant defrauded his real estate clients and then attempted to escape the consequences by declaring bankruptcy. His actions not only harmed individual clients, but also impacted potential investments in the City of Detroit,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “The FBI will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Bankruptcy Trustee to ensure the public’s continued trust in the bankruptcy process and to hold accountable those who would use our bankruptcy courts as a means of committing fraud.” 

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Both the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation wish to acknowledge and thank the United States Trustee’s Office for its assistance.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig A. Weier and Special Assistant United States Attorney Richard Roble.

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