LUIS NUNEZ, 42, has been indicted for Scheme to Defraud, Grand Larceny, and Falsifying Business Records

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of a property manager for stealing more than $879,000 from three corporations that own five rental apartment buildings near Columbia University. LUIS NUNEZ, 42, has been indicted for Scheme to Defraud, Grand Larceny, and Falsifying Business Records[1]. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between June 2005 and April 2009.

“Tenants suffer greatly when property managers steal money that is intended for maintenance, repairs, and other improvements. This type of crime can affect high end condominiums as well as low income rental buildings,” said District Attorney Vance. “We will aggressively investigate and prosecute these offenses, no matter how large or small.”

According to documents filed in court, NUNEZ was the sole property manager for the buildings and was responsible for nearly every aspect of their operation, from day to day upkeep to signing leases on behalf of the owners, collecting rents from tenants, making bank deposits, and maintaining the rent rolls and financial records.

In June 2005, NUNEZ began taking rent money from new tenants of one building and depositing the money into his personal accounts. He falsely told some new tenants that he owned the building, and directed them to make the rent checks payable to him personally. Many of the tenants were students at Columbia University. Over the next several months, NUNEZ was given management responsibility over additional buildings acquired by the company that employed him. This enabled him to expand his larcenous scheme and steal from multiple buildings simultaneously.

NUNEZ was responsible for updating information in the computer software program used by the owners to manage the buildings, including inputting all information about the tenants and their rent payments. NUNEZ systematically manipulated and falsified the records to conceal his thefts from the owners. In some instances, NUNEZ failed to enter new tenant data into the system, leaving the true owners without accurate records of who lived in the buildings, and enabling NUNEZ to pocket the full rental income from those apartments.

NUNEZ used the stolen money to enhance his lifestyle, buying furniture, jewelry, and appliances, paying school tuition, and maintaining multiple cars. He also made sizable donations of stolen money to his church.

Assistant District Attorney Om Gillett of the Special Prosecutions Bureau is in charge of the prosecution under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Thomas Wornom, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, and Judy Salwen, Deputy Chief. Senior Account Investigator Vincent Jones of the District Attorney’s Financial Crimes Bureau assisted in the investigation, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Frank Puma and Principle Accountant Investigator Michael Vecchio. Senior Investigator Randolph Donaldson and Investigator John Alfalla of the New York State Police also assisted in the investigation.

Defendant Information:

LUIS NUNEZ, 9/25/1967
3240 Randall Avenue
Bronx, NY


* Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, 3 counts, class C felony, punishable by a sentence of up to 5 to 15 years in prison.
* Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, 1 count, class E felony, punishable by a sentence of up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
* Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, 11 counts, class E felony, punishable by a sentence of up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.