Federal prosecutors investigating the crimes of former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg have charged two of Greenberg’s associates and accused them of a multimillion-dollar real-estate fraud scheme, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.
Authorities say Keith Ingersoll and James Adamczyk, working with other unnamed co-conspirators, bilked an Orlando-area investor out of over $12 million by persuading the investor to put up money for more than half a dozen fraudulent real-estate deals in Florida, other states and The Bahamas.
Ingersoll and Adamcyzk claimed to the investor they needed money to cover deposits on contracts they signed to purchase various properties they planned to immediately flip to other buyers — at least some of whom were fabricated, according to the indictment.
They told the investor the money would be held in escrow. But they and the other co-conspirators instead spent the money “on themselves and for their own personal benefit, including for luxury cars, travel and adult entertainment,” according to the indictment.
The indictment charges both men with 40 federal crimes, including wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. If convicted, they could face decades in prison; the 20 counts of wire fraud on which they were indicted each carry up to 20 years behind bars.
Ingersoll is also charged with a 41st count: aggravated identity theft, for allegedly using the personal information of a victim identified only as “W.V.” in August 2017 while committing wire fraud offenses.
Adamczyk and Ingersoll appeared in court separately Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. A judge set their next court hearings for Dec. 21 and an initial trial date of Jan. 3.
Both were granted release from custody with a list of conditions, including that they do not travel outside the Middle District of Florida, which stretches from Jacksonville to the Fort Myers area. Ingersoll asked to be allowed to visit other areas of the state for business but was denied.
Magistrate Judge Leslie Hoffman cited the “serious and numerous offenses” against Ingersoll in refusing to lift his travel restrictions. “Letting you travel anywhere in the state might be a little bit too far,” Hoffman said.
Carlos Perez-Irizarry, a defense attorney representing Adamczyk in court, declined to comment after the hearing. Andrew C. Searle, representing Ingersoll, said his client was “fully cooperative” after learning he’d been indicted, including turning himself in.
Ingersoll, Searle said, is “prepared to mount a vigorous defense.”
Ingersoll and Adamczyk were also involved in a controversial property-flipping deal with Greenberg and the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office that an auditor later flagged as “possible fraudulent activity.”
Under that deal, Greenberg had the Tax Collector’s Office purchase a former bank building on State Road 434 for $810,000 in public cash — hours after a company recently formed by Adamczyk bought it for $680,000.
Records show Ingersoll — to whom Greenberg gave a $48,000 contract to serve as a real estate advisor — was also involved in the transaction on behalf of the tax office. Several of Greenberg’s other top advisors helped broker the deal, too.
An auditor who later examined the deal wrote that “the acquisition of this property has collusion written all over it.” Auditors also separately said they found “no evidence of work” from Ingersoll for his consulting contract.
ABC News reported in June that Greenberg investigators had “reached out to” Ingersoll as they expanded their focus into contracts Greenberg doled out during his time in elected office.
Get latest updates political news from Central Florida and across the state.
Both KI Consulting Group — the entity through which Greenberg hired Ingersoll — and Shooters Orlando Inc. — which Adamczyk used to buy the bank building he immediately re-sold to the tax office — were named in the indictment unsealed Monday.
Prosecutors say Ingersoll and Adamczyk offered the investor, who was not named in court records, 9% interest in return. They claimed the properties were already under contract but, in some cases, the owners hadn’t even been contacted about selling, the indictment said.
To conceal the fraud, the pair provided the investor with faked real estate contracts and other records, some of them featuring forged signatures or signed with fake names, prosecutors say. They also falsely claimed to have buyers lined up for the properties.
“[T]he potential buyers did not exist, had never been contacted about purchasing the real estate, or had declined to pursue a transaction,” the indictment said.
Meanwhile, the attorney who the investor believed was holding the money in escrow was not licensed to practice law — his license was suspended in 2008 and never reinstated, the indictment states. The attorney was not named in the document.
According to federal prosecutors, the suspended attorney repeatedly directed large sums of fraudulently obtained money — nearly $1.2 million in one January 2018 transaction alone — to accounts held by Shooters Orlando or KI Consulting Group.