NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man today admitted committing wire fraud and making false reports and statements to and for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Shenandoah Adams Sr., aka “Shane Adams Sr.,” 56, of New Providence, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to one count of an indictment charging him with wire fraud and an information charging him with one count of making false reports and statements to and for HUD.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Adams was a principal of Adams Property Management and Investment Group LLC (Adams Property Management), which purchased property on Hilton Street in East Orange, New Jersey in 2014. The following year, Adams arranged for a close associate to obtain a $153,562 loan from a mortgage lender to purchase the Hilton Street property from Adams Property Management. After the associate’s mortgage payments on the Hilton Street property became substantially in arrears, Adams arranged for the associate to sell the property to another associate for $255,000. The closing on that sale commenced on May 31, 2016; as of that date, the total amount to pay off the first associate’s mortgage was $210,565, including interest and fees. On June 1, 2016, Adams and the first associate had a telephone conversation with the mortgage servicer for the associate’s lender, during which Adams made false and fraudulent statements to induce the lender to reduce the payoff amount. The lender agreed to reduce the associate’s payoff amount to $190,000. At Adams’s direction, the associate cashed the check for the amount of the reduction – $20,665 – and delivered the cash proceeds to Adams.
Adams also was a principal of VH Electrical and Plumbing LLC. On March 11, 2015, Adams, on behalf of VH, entered into a contract with the Orange Public Library to replace the Library’s HVAC/chiller unit for $49,000. The project was funded by a HUD Community Development Block Grant to the library and Orange. Adams sent a library representative documentation to give the false impression that Adams was taking steps to order a replacement chiller. Adams received $40,000 from the library, but did not replace the library’s chiller.
The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. The charge of making false reports and statements to HUD carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a maximum potential fine of $100,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 29, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cari Fais, Chief of the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys J Fortier Imbert and Sara F. Merin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.