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Mortgage Fraud Defendant Murdered

Andrew Kissel was negotiating plea agreement

April 25, 2006

By PATRICK CROWLEY


A Connecticut developer won't be facing charges that he defrauded mortgage lenders out of millions of dollars and stole nearly $4 million from a New York co-op.

Andrew Kissel, 46, was found dead in his Greenwich, Conn., home on April 3, Greenwich Police said in a written statement. He was stabbed multiple times according to the preliminary findings of an autopsy performed by the Connecticut Medical Examiner's Office, police said.

No suspects have been named. Police are saying little about the crime, which they were alerted to by a 911 call from employees of a moving company. The crime is being treated as a homicide. As part of the investigation police drained the swimming pool at the house that Kissel had been renting, but they would not say what they were looking for.

Kissel was free on bond but had been discussing a possible plea agreement on the state charges involving the alleged theft from the co-op apartment building.

Kissel's death is the latest bizarre development in a family known for its success and tragedy.

Kissel's brother, Robert, who was reportedly a successful investment banker in Merrill Lynch's Hong Kong office, was allegedly beaten to death by his wife in 2003.

And Andrew Kissel, a well-known developer who owned a yacht and collected classic automobiles, was facing both federal and state charges in New York that included allegations he stole more than $10 million in pair of fraud schemes. He had pleaded not guilty to both sets of charges.

Last July Kissel was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York for "applying for and receiving bank loans and construction loan advances based on false and fraudulent loan applications including forged and fraudulent mortgage releases," according to federal court documents.

The fraud totaled about $6.4 million. Kissel used forged documents to show that mortgages on properties had been paid off when in fact they had not, court documents show. He would then apply for new loans against the properties.

"Kissel ... well knew such mortgage release[s] were forged and fraudulent insofar as they contained the forged signatures of bank officers and because the underlying loan obligations had not been fully satisfied," federal prosecutors contend in the court filings.

In October, Kissel was indicted for "stealing" $3.9 million from an Upper East Side apartment building in New York City where he had once lived and had served as treasurer of the building's co-op, Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau said in a statement.

"For six years (Kissel) wired money out of the (building's) various accounts until they were depleted," according to the statement. "He doctored bank statements and omitted his illegal wire transfers in order to hide his thefts."

Kissel also allegedly used fake invoices for renovations to siphon more money from the co-op, Morgenthau said.


Patrick Crowley is a feature journalist and blogger for MortgageDaily.com. He is also a reporter, blogger and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
e-mail Patrick at: [email protected]

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