Local real estate investor pleads guilty to $3M fraud scheme

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published March 8, 2023

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ROCHESTER — A real estate investor who formerly lived in Rochester has pleaded guilty to stealing over $3 million in a wire and bankruptcy fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Sean Tissue, also known as Sean Ryan, engaged in a real estate investment fraud scheme from 2015 through 2021, making false representations to get potential investors from other countries to invest in real estate in Michigan, Texas and other locations, sending him money through interstate or international wire transactions.

Using the fake name, Sean Ryan, Tissue reportedly caused false documents to be provided to investors — including fake deeds, fake wiring instructions, fake bank statements, fake leases and fake inspection reports.

Tissue, 37, obtained over $3 million from the scheme, according to a press release from the U.S Attorney’s Office. Officials say he also engaged in a bankruptcy fraud scheme from November 2017 to May 2019 by withholding recorded information about his assets and financial affairs after filing for bankruptcy.

Tissue was the owner of various companies, including The Centureon Cos. LLC, Greystone Home Builders LLC, Sycamore Homes LLC, Lenovo Homes LLC, NROL Holdings LLC, Phillip Ryan LLC, Boardwalk Heights B2R LLC, and NROL Property and Investment LLC.

He moved from Rochester to Social Circle, Georgia, in 2022.

On Feb. 28, Tissue pleaded guilty to wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud before United States District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith.

U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said Tissue “orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud individual investors.”

“He tried to avoid repaying those investors by declaring bankruptcy, and his lies and deceits continued in the bankruptcy proceeding,” Ison said in a statement. “This guilty plea is an important step towards holding Mr. Tissue accountable for his actions and reflects my office’s commitment to prosecuting financial crime and protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system.”

James A. Tarasca, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit division, said Tissue “defrauded his real estate clients and then attempted to escape the consequences by declaring bankruptcy.”

“His actions not only harmed individual clients, but also impacted potential investments in the City of Detroit,” Tarasca said in a statement. “The FBI will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Bankruptcy Trustee to ensure the public’s continued trust in the bankruptcy process and to hold accountable those who would use our bankruptcy courts as a means of committing fraud.”

Tissue faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and up to five years in prison for bankruptcy fraud. His attorney could not be reached for comment at press time.