Aaron Dare and his fiance pleaded not guilty this morning to a 59-count indictment that includes numerous felony charges including grand larceny and money laundering as part of an alleged real estate and mortgage fraud scheme.
The indictment unsealed this morning in Albany County Court alleges that Dare and Ana Paula Monteiro stole more than $1.6 million by obtaining mortgages on two dozen properties and diverting the money for their own benefit.
Dare, former head of the Northeastern Urban League, carried a Bible into the courtroom and sat quietly with Monteiro as they waited for the proceedings to start.
Acting Supreme Court Judge Dan Lamont said the latest indictment against Dare was a “serious upgrade of charges.”
Assistant District Attorney Chris Baynes asked that bail for Dare be set at $200,000. But Dare’s attorney, Matthew Alpern, objected and said Dare was not a flight risk, had voluntarily appeared in court, is under electronic house arrest, has congestive heart failure and needs medical care.
Lamont set bail at $100,000.
Dare, who is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on July 23 on similar federal charges, said nothing as he was led from the courtroom and remanded to the Albany County Jail.
Monteiro, 30 , who has been with Dare for five years, was arrested in May on related charges and at the time was released on $12,000 bail. She was named as a co-defendant in the 59-count indictment.
Baynes told the judge that Monteiro posed a flight risk because she was not born in the U.S. But her attorney, Cheryl Coleman, said Monteiro had lived in the U.S. since 1981, has no criminal history and when she was asked to surrender ,”she did so promptly.”
LaMont set bail for Monteiro at $50,000 and she smiled as she was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
Outside the courtroom, Coleman said Monteiro was another one of Dare’s “victims” in his real estate schemes. She said she told Monteiro to smile and added prosecutors were punishing Monteiro because of her association with Dare.
Dare plead guilty in November 2006 to federal charges for mortgage fraud and could face 27 years when he is sentenced in July.
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