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A former Chinatown building manager confessed to stealing more than $1.5 million from the business accounts of two of the buildings in his charge, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. announced on Friday.
Kee Lin, 43, plead guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court on July 19 to writing unauthorized checks to be cashed or paid to his company AIP Real Estate Service, Inc. and creating fraudulent bank statements to conceal the pay-outs, according to a statement from the Manhattan D.A.’s office. He pleaded guilty to the Class B felony of first degree grand larceny.
Lin admitted that he wrote a series of checks between November 2006 to August 2009 while he was the manager for buildings at 128 Mott St. in Little Italy and 11 East Broadway in Chinatown. According to his guilty plea, he would then create false banks statements which he would present to the buildings’ board of directors. He was only discovered after a board member noticed that the statements from Lin did not match those coming from the bank.
The dodgy manager reportedly lost a significant amount of the stolen cash to gambling establishments. He also reportedly started a Chinatown Gamblers Anonymous association in atonement.
“This defendant abused that trust by stealing more than a million dollars from two buildings in the heart of Chinatown,” Vance said in a statement. “When large sums of money are stolen from commercial buildings, those costs are often passed down to the buildings’ tenants. Lin’s actions not only jeopardized the financial stability of the buildings, but could have affected the many doctors, dentists, travel agents, and other small business owners who work there every day.”
The 128 Mott St. building hosts a large number of doctor’s officers and healthcare professionals as well as other small businesses. The building at 11 East Broadway is home to an HSBC Bank, and offices of dentists, a health insurance agency and lawyers.
A representative of the D.A.’s office said that Lin was ordered to pay $750,000 in restitution as part of the proposed sentence, but will not be officially sentenced until October 1, 2013.
— Kaitlyn Meade