A Suwanee-based realtor and investor accused of defrauding clients out of more than $22 million pleaded guilty to mail fraud last week.
According to a press release by the United States Department of Justice, Emily Moerdermo Fu, who operated Capital Investment International Management in Suwanee and had business dealings in the metro Atlanta area, previously admitted to embezzling more than $900,000 in 2017 when investment irregularities were discovered.
“Real estate professionals who embezzle their clients’ investment funds threaten the integrity of our real estate market,” said U.S. Attorney Byung Pak in the release. “Investors must remain vigilant against fictitious loans, made-up closings, and other schemes by licensed professionals before they invest their monies.”
A complaint filed against Fu states that in October 2014, Fu’s company purchased the Shoppes at Brannon Crossing, 405 Peachtree Parkway in Cumming for $15 million, but it was later discovered that Fu allegedly secured an undisclosed and unauthorized loan of $6 million against the property.
The complaint alleges that, “Given Fu’s experience in the real estate industry, she knew that a real estate lender would send, or cause to be sent, mailings ... to the borrower about the loan, including past due notices and demands.”
By directing loan mailings to Capital Investment’s main office in Suwanee, instead of the appropriate offices for the Shoppes at Brannon, Fu concealed “evidence of the fraudulent loan’s existence” from the property manager, the complaint states.
The release states that the Shoppes at Brannon Crossing was one of a number of properties that Fu allegedly told clients she had closed on or was managing, when in reality “she had diverted the loans and investment funds … for her own purposes.”
“The defendant used her position as a well-regarded realtor to defraud money from hardworking investors for her own personal financial gain,” Scott D. Fix, acting U.S. Postal Inspector in charge of the Charlotte Division said in the release. “Postal Inspectors will continue to vigorously pursue and bring to justice those individuals who use the U.S. mail to commit crimes.”
Before being brought up on charges, Fu was a prominent real estate professional in the Atlanta area and was recognized in 2012 for the Individual of the Year, Governor’s International Award.
Fu’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled, and her case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.