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Post date: June 6 2008

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

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 6, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today announced the indictment of a Capital region man accused of fraudulently soliciting investors for a real estate venture in Troy that he knew was bound to fail.

Roger Shearer, 61, of Farmingdale Road, Latham, was charged in a six-count indictment with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud and securities fraud under the state’s “Martin Act.”

In 2003 and 2004, Shearer allegedly 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.  Instead, according to court proceedings, Shearer solicited and pocketed $45,000 in investments after learning he would not be able to purchase the building and the venture was not going to take place.

“This man is alleged to have engaged in a scheme based on lies and ended up stealing tens of thousands of dollars from area residents who were hoping to be part of a deal that would have improved Troy’s waterfront,” said Attorney General Cuomo.  “My office will not stand for such abuses.”

Shearer was arraigned today before Albany County Court Judge Thomas Breslin and released under probation supervision pending a return court appearance on July 18. If convicted on the top count, Shearer faces a maximum of seven years in prison.

The charges contained in the indictment are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted 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.