DOJ: Gwinnett real estate agent defrauded clients out of $22M

A Suwanee-based real estate agent who bilked clients out of $22 million pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud charges Thursday.

Emily Moerdermo Fu, who operated Capital Investment International Management, Inc., was initially charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering by the U.S. Department of Justice when she was arrested in January 2018.

Fu established several investment companies for a group of clients over the course of 13 years. The companies were for the “supposed purchase” of commercial real estate. When the clients noticed “irregularities” in November 2017, they confronted Fu, who said she had embezzled $930,000, according to a DOJ release. That figure was actually a fraction of what Fu admitted to taking in pleading guilty.

In addition to the $930,000 she embezzled, Fu also took $1.1 million through inflated sale prices, $8 million in phantom property sales and $8.67 million in unauthorized loans, according to a previous indictment. Fu had led clients to believe she had purchased properties on their behalf when she actually pocketed the money and did not go through with the sales, the DOJ said. The scheme involved retail properties in Buford, Cumming, Duluth, Alpharetta, Grayson and Norcross, and medical buildings in Norcross, Atlanta and Loganville.

Properties involved in the scheme included the Shoppes at Brannon in Cumming, Sugarloaf Center in Duluth and the Shoppes at Mall of Georgia in Buford. Fu told clients she would handle the financials and property management for them, but clients became suspicious when they received a past due notice for a property they had paid for in an all-cash transaction.

Fu’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

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