Attorney General Cuomo Announces Guilty Plea Of Capital Region Man For Fraudulent Real Estate Scheme

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 14, 2008) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the guilty plea of a Capital Region man who solicited investors for a real estate venture in Troy that he knew was bound to fail.

Roger Shearer, 61, of Farmingdale Road, Latham, pleaded guilty today in Albany County Court to violating the state Martin Act, a class ‘E’ Felony. He will be sentenced on December 18, 2008 and has agreed to make full restitution to his victims.

In 2003 and 2004, Shearer solicited investors for a project called Gateway Commons, which, according to Shearer, included the purchase of a building and the rehabilitation of a waterfront area in Troy, New York. In reality, Shearer never intended to move forward with Gateway Commons and at no point during the life of the venture did he actually have enough money to do anything of substance. Shearer used the scheme to pocket $45,000 from his investors.

“Not only did this man cheat investors out of tens of thousands of dollars, he scammed the entire Capital Region with false promises of an improved waterfront in the City of Troy,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Schemes like this not only impact investors, they can also derail vital urban and community renewal projects that many parts of this state desperately need.”

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Emmanuel Nneji of the Criminal Prosecution Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Richard Ernst. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Mark Spencer from the New York State Attorney General’s Office under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator David Adams.