Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction Charge

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jacques Laventure, age 35, of Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty today to obstructing an official proceeding by selling a mansion and estate that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was seeking to forfeit as part of a criminal case against his brother.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Laventure is the brother of Jean Lavanture, of Saugerties, New York.  Jean Lavanture was indicted in October 2020 for fraudulently obtaining nearly $5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) intended to help legitimate businesses during the pandemic. As part of that prosecution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to forfeit a mansion and estate in Byram Township, New Jersey, that Jean Lavanture bought with approximately $850,000 in fraud proceeds.

In pleading guilty, Jacques Laventure admitted that between January and March 2021, he schemed to sell the Byram Township property, knowing that the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to forfeit it.  He also admitted that on March 10, 2021, he completed the sale of the property for $443,920 net of fees, and knew that by selling the property to a third party, he was preventing its forfeiture in the criminal case brought against his brother.

Laventure faces up to 20 years in prison, and up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, when Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby sentences him on August 25, 2022.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.  Laventure has agreed to forfeit $443,920 that the FBI has already seized, and to pay an additional $331,080 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Barnett and Joshua R. Rosenthal.