DA Vance: Lawyer Charged With Taking Funds From Harlem Church– Manhattan District Lawyer’s Office

July 26, 2018

John Shasanmi Presumably Takes $600,000 From Church He Represented in Realty Transaction

Manhattan District Lawyer Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today revealed the indictment of JOHN SHASANMI, 39, an attorney, for taking $600,000 from a Harlem church that he represented in a genuine estate transaction. The offender is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and one count of Crook Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree. [1]

"This parish trusted its lawyer to secure its interests as it expanded and looked to the future in a progressively pricey neighborhood," stated District Attorney Vance. "Instead, that attorney is charged with swiping proceeds from the sale of this historic church. If you believe you may have been tricked by John Shasanmi-- or any unscrupulous legal representative-- I urge you to call our Financial Scams hotline at (212) 335-8900."

According to court files and declarations made on the record in court, Second Providence Baptist Church, Inc. ("Second Providence"), located in Harlem, kept SHASANMI to represent the church and serve as an escrow representative in a realty deal with Azimuth Advancement Group ("Azimuth").

In November 2014, Second Providence and Azimuth signed a Purchase and Sale Arrangement approving Azimuth the right to establish a multistory building at 2nd Providence's West 116th Street area, with the arrangement that 2nd Providence would own the newly built building's bottom 3 floorings. SHASANMI likewise signed the arrangement in his capacity as escrow agent.On December 10

, 2014, pursuant to the contract, SHASANMI received a $250,000 deposit that he was expected to keep in escrow, and which would ultimately be paid to 2nd Providence if the offer closed. SHASANMI advised Azimuth that these funds ought to be sent out to what he declared was an escrow account, but in fact was a personal account held in SHASANMI's name. By April 23, 2015, SHASANMI had actually misappropriated almost all of the transferred funds for his own usage, leaving a balance of roughly $500 in the account.After the offer closed in April 2017, SHASANMI received an additional payment of roughly$350,000 to be kept in escrow. Again, SHASANMI held these funds in his personal savings account rather than in an escrow account and misappropriated the funds for his own usage. By November 21, 2017, he had withdrawn almost all of the cash from the account, leaving a balance of roughly$ 100. Quickly after the offer closed, 2nd Providence's Pastor asked SHASANMI for a copy of the bank statement corresponding to the escrow account. On Might 11, 2017, SHASANMI emailed the Pastor a created Citibank declaration showing that of the previously deposited funds were being held in an account in the name of"Law Workplace of John Shasanmi."In truth, the Citibank account that corresponded to the account number on the declaration was SHASANMI's individual checking account, which consisted of considerably less cash than was shown in the created statement.In March 2018, 2nd Providence's Pastor started asking SHASANMI to launch the cash owed to the church.

In spite of several demands, SHASANMI has actually not returned any of the funds to 2nd Providence.Assistant D.A. David Bernstein is dealing with the prosecution of this case under the guidance of Assistant D.A.s David Crowley, Supervising Attorney of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Gloria Garcia, Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Archana Rao, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau, as well as Executive Assistant D.A. Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Department. Paralegal Ethan Ellsworth and Investigative Expert Oliver Van Zant helped with the case, as did Senior Rackets Investigator Anthony Santoro.District Attorney Vance thanked the New york city State Attorney general of the United States's Charities Bureau, United States Customs and Border Protection, the Philadelphia Cops Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for their assistance.Defendant Details: JOHN SHASANMI, D.O.B. 6/27/79 Wilmington, Delaware Charged: Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree, a class C felony, two counts Crook Belongings of a Created Instrument in the Third Degree

, a class A misdemeanor, one count [1] The charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and the offender is presumed innocent unless and up until tested

  • guilty. All factual recitations are stemmed from files filed in court and statements made on the record in court.