Fort Lee Real Estate Agent Gets Prison for Theft
Fort Lee Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Down Payments from Real Estate Clients
A man who ran a real estate company in Fort Lee has been sentenced to prison time for stealing money from his clients. The defendant in the case, Peter Live, is a 42-year-old man from Newark in Essex County, New Jersey. Live worked as a real estate agent for Live Realty, a Fort Lee company that he owned and operated. According to Bergen County prosecutors, Live pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from at least five of his clients. Live reportedly committed the thefts between December 2016 and June 2017. The Fort Lee Police Department received complaints from the victims in 2016 and subsequently reached out to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to launch an investigation.
Detectives with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit investigated the allegations and determined that the victims initially made down payments for properties and gave the money to Live. Instead of placing the money in escrow for the properties, however, Live allegedly kept the cash for himself. Live reportedly deposited the funds into bank accounts and later withdrew money for personal use. As a result of the deception, the victims were not able to complete their real estate purchases at a later date. At the conclusion of the investigation, prosecutors filed criminal charges against Live for theft.
Prison Time for Felony Theft Charges in Fort Lee, New Jersey
Live faced numerous charges in the case: theft by deception, failure to make lawful disposition of property received, and misconduct by a corporate official. Live ultimately avoided trial in the Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack by reaching a plea agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in February 2018. In exchange for Live pleading guilty to second degree theft charges, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining charges against him.
Now Live has been officially ordered to serve prison time in the theft case. The superior court judge recently sentenced Live to a term of incarceration of five (5) years in NJ State Prison. Live will also have to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $348,000. In NJ theft cases, convicted defendants are often required to pay back their victims for the money or goods stolen.
Contact an Experienced Fort Lee Theft Attorney Today
If you were arrested and charged with a theft or fraud offense in Fort Lee, Hackensack, Paramus, or anywhere else in Bergen County, NJ, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact Bergen County criminal lawyer Travis Tormey today to discuss your charges and start your defense.