Joel Greenberg associate Keith Ingersoll to plead guilty of defrauding investor of millions
Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Keith Ingersoll, a former associate of disgraced Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to charges that he took part in a real estate scheme that defrauded an investor of millions of dollars, according to court documents.
According to his signed plea deal with federal prosecutors, Ingersoll made more than $9.6 million in bilking the local investor. He faces more than 20 years in federal prison.
Ingersoll on Wednesday agreed to plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one charge of wire fraud, one charge of attempted wire fraud, and a charge of aggravated identity theft. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Embry Kidd in the Federal Courthouse in downtown Orlando.
Ingersoll and business partner James Adamcyzk were indicted together in November 2021 on 40 charges each for various frauds and engaging in fraudulent money transactions related to the scheme.
Adamcyzk, however, has not agreed to plead guilty. His attorney, Brian Phillips, has told a judge that Adamcyzk has advanced throat cancer that has spread into his lungs. And he is mostly bed-ridden.
According to Ingersoll’s plea agreement, both men worked together and with other co-conspirators in convincing an unnamed wealthy investor — known as L.W. in court documents — that they needed $12.7 million to put down as deposits for land purchases across the country — including in Florida, Alabama, Illinois, Nebraska, and in the Bahamas.
Beginning in April 2016, Ingersoll and Adamcyzk invented stories for the investor that they would use his money to purchase the properties — including a hospital in Nebraska — and then plan to flip them to another buyer for a profit and give the investor a return of more than 9% along with a share of the profits, according to the plea agreement.
Prosecutors said the pair made up fake names of people willing to sell their properties and produced fake real estate documents with forged signatures to make the scheme credible.
“As part of the conspiracy and scheme to defraud, Ingersoll, Adamcyzk and other conspirators provided L.W. with fraudulent contracts that were signed by fictitious sellers, that were for properties that did not exist and that contained a forged signature,” prosecutors said in the plea agreement.
Between October 2017 and February 2019, the investor sent $4.85 million to Ingersoll and an attorney who had his law license suspended to hold the money in an escrow account.
But instead Ingersoll and Adamcyzk and the unnamed attorney spent the victim’s deposits to purchase luxury items for themselves, such as expensive cars, adult entertainment and travel, according to the indictments.
Then, between June 2019 and April 2021, the investor sent $7.85 million to Adamcyzk that Ingersoll promised would be held in an escrow account, according to prosecutors.
“None of these funds were held in escrow,” prosecutors said in the plea agreement. “Rather, they were spent by Ingersoll, Adamcyzk and other conspirators.”
After the attorney with the suspended license died in 2019, Adamcyzk falsely told the investor that he was an attorney, according to the court document.
In May 2021, the investor started making several demands that $7.5 million in deposits he gave to the men be returned, according to prosecutors.
Ingersoll told the investor that Adamcyzk, who had access to the money, was in Costa Rica and could not return to the United States and return the money because he had Covid, according to prosecutors.
However, federal investigators discovered that Adamcyzk at the time was using used his credit card at restaurants and a hotel in Tampa and Orlando, according to court documents.
In June, the investor sent an email to Ingersoll stating: “WE WERE DEFRAUDED HERE – WE NEED TO DISCUSS WHAT / WHEN / HOW TO DO ANYTHING???” according to the court document.
Ingersoll must forfeit the money, according to the plea agreement. Prosecutors also can seize his other financial assets if he is unable to pay the money, according to the plea agreement.
Ingersoll was a longtime friend of Greenberg before he was elected Seminole County Tax Collector in November 2016. After taking office in January 2017, Greenberg hired Ingersoll as the public office’s real estate advisor.
But within a couple of months, Ingersoll and Adamcyzk took part in a property-flipping scheme with the public office.
In that transaction, Adamcyzk formed a new company called Shooters Inc. and then used it to purchase a former bank building on State Road 434 in Winter Springs for $680,000. Hours later, he sold it to the Tax Collector’s Office for $942,000 in public money. Ingersoll helped oversee the deal between Greenberg and Adamcyzk’s company.
Prosecutors said in a court document that the price paid by the public office for the bank building “was falsely and fraudulently inflated to financially benefit the public official, Keith Ingersoll and other conspirators.”
Ingersoll agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud for that transaction, according to the agreement.
A county auditor wrote in a report in 2020 to Seminole commissioners, “the acquisition of this property has collusion written all over it.”
Ingersoll’s plea agreement does not name Greenberg or the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office, but it references Ingersoll working on behalf of a local government agency to purchase the bank property which is now a branch for the Tax Collector’s office.
After the sale in June 2017, Ingersoll chartered a private jet and traveled to a casino in Florida with the public official three times, according to the plea agreement.
“During the trips, Ingersoll paid the public official more than $1,000 in casino chips as a kickback for the property transaction,” prosecutors said in the plea agreement. “After the local media wrote about the property transaction, Ingersoll provided additional cash to the public official as a further kickback to the property transaction.”
Two employees of the government agency then questioned the transaction by asking for the purchase records, according to the court document. However, the records were never delivered, prosecutors said.
Greenberg resigned in June 2020 and pleaded guilty in May 2021 to committing six felonies while serving as tax collector, including sex trafficking of a child, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official.
He is currently in the Orange County Jail awaiting sentencing on Dec. 1.