A Palm Beach Gardens man was arrested last week after telling his Swiss cousin he would use his money to invest in real estate but instead used parts of it for his own expenses in the years following the collapse of the region’s housing market, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Albert Rosen, 77, was charged with three counts of grand theft over $20,000, according to court records. He was released from jail after making $15,000 bond Friday, the day before his birthday.
Rosen’s second-generation cousin wired him a total of just under $1 million throughout 2011 and 2012 with the faith that Rosen would invest the money in real-estate properties through his Boca Raton company, Realty 3000. Rosen told his cousin he invested the money into five different condos. In reality, Rosen only bought three properties in Royal Palm Beach for $200,000, according to the arrest report made public Monday.
Rosen invested some other money into properties, but sold them at a loss, the arrest report said. Rosen updated his cousin on the amount of money in the bank accounts to which he had access. Bank records obtained by the sheriff’s office show that Rosen spent money from these accounts on personal expenses such as car repairs, groceries, insurance, cash advances golf and shoes.
Rosen told his cousin that he had taken some money from the accounts, saying “I am currently financially broke and funds are not there,” according to the arrest report.
“I did not use your funds for pleasure. I am trying to find a way to raise funds. I am asking you for time to work it out.”
Rosen did send his cousin $43,500 at some point, according to the report, but owed thousands more. The cousin never got any more money, despite Rosen saying he would send it.
Rosen has not been charged for a felony before, according to court records.