Schenectady County

Ex-Urban League head pleads guilty to fraud

The embattled former head of the Urban League of Northeastern New York pleaded guilty to a real esta

The embattled former head of the Urban League of Northeastern New York pleaded guilty to a real estate fraud charge Monday in Albany County Court just before his trial was expected to begin.

Aaron Dare, 39, of Albany, pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Judge Daniel Lamont to offering a false instrument for filing, a class E felony. He faces a prison term of one to three years when sentenced June 19.

Dare, who is free on $25,000 bail, rejected a plea deal Friday that would have sent him to prison for two to three years and his trial was set to start Monday morning.

“He made a determination it was in his best interest to do this at this time,” Dare’s attorney, Arnold Proskin, said of the guilty plea. “If he went to trial and was convicted he faced up to 20 years,” said Proskin.

Proskin said the agreed-upon sentence is for one to three years and the guilty plea was in satisfaction of four counts.

Dare was indicted in September 2007 on state charges of second-degree forgery and offering a false instrument after he allegedly filed a bogus property deed with the Albany County clerk for a $150,000 home at 215 Second Ave. in the South End.

“There are many more charges to come for Mr. Dare,” said Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares. He said that there are dozens of complaints he will investigate concerning deeds recorded by Dare with the county clerk and questions about title and ownership of these properties.

Financial Crimes Bureau Chief Chris Baynes, who prosecuted the case, said Dare filed the fraudulent deed to avoid having to pay capital gains tax on the property and it allowed him to sell the mortgage on the secondary market.

The state charges were filed after Dare pleaded guilty in November 2006 to federal charges of fraud and conspiracy stemming from more than $8 million in federal loans used in a scheme to obtain financing for housing projects.

Dare is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced on the federal charges May 14 before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn and could face up to 51 months in prison.

This sentence may be increased if he is found guilty of additional state charges.

Dare was released from jail in mid-December because of serious health problems. He has heart problems including congestive heart failure. Kahn ruled that he could recover at home, under house arrest.

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