An Illinois man was convicted Friday for withholding information and misleading investors to induce them to buy resort investment contracts in Warrens, officials said.
Edward Van Der Molen was convicted in Monroe County Court after entering a plea of guilty to the charge of theft by a contractor, which is a class G felony, according to a state Department of Justice release.
According to a criminal complaint, Van Der Molen offered and sold investment contracts, calling them “net lease agreements” or “lease-back agreements,” in connection with the sale of investment properties at the Three Bears Resort in Warrens. The terms of the agreements and other statements made to potential investors were made to induce the investor to buy into the investment properties.
Van Der Molen did not disclose information about his or his company’s failure to pay various financial obligations associated with the investment, according to the criminal complaint. He also withheld the fact that his company was losing millions of dollars in the years leading up to the sales. By not disclosing the financial information, he misled his investors with his promises of a return on their investment.
Van Der Molen also entered into a contract where he accepted more than $80,000 that was to be used for building a customer’s villa, but he spent the money on something other than what the contract was for, according to the complaint.
Van Der Molen faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, according to the release. One count of racketeering activity and one count of securities fraud may be considered during the sentencing and restitution hearing, which is scheduled for June 2.