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Charges filed against New Jersey man who allegedly misused renter funds at Indy apartment complexes

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Posted at 10:39 AM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 18:19:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Charges were filed by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office today against a New Jersey man who allegedly misappropriated renter funds intended for Citizen's Energy Group.

WRTV followed the story of residents at Berkley Commons, Capital Place Apartments, Covington Square Apartments and Woods at Oak Crossing who were faced with shuttered utilities despite paying their bills to their property management group.

On Monday, the owner of those properties, Chaim Puretz, now faces charges of Corrupt Business Influence and Theft.

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As alleged in the probable cause affidavit, in lieu of paying the reoccurring utility bills, Puretz wired apartment complex funds, totaling approximately $1,638,038.86, to other bank accounts he owned or jointly owned. The failure to pay the utility bills from October 2019 – April 2022 resulted in the water being shut off for all tenants at the Berkley Commons and Capital Place properties.

Prosecutor Ryan Mears issued the following statement:

“Innocent Hoosiers suffered due to the alleged acts of the defendant. We will not tolerate those who financially exploit members of our community. I commend our dedicated investigators for their diligent work throughout this lengthy process.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued this statement:

“In 2022, the City stepped in to pay $850,000 in water charges at several affordable housing properties, avoiding the mass eviction of hundreds of Indianapolis families. Families that had kept current with rent payments that included utilities had their lives thrown into upheaval through no fault of their own. I am grateful to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for the extensive legal work involved to bring today’s criminal charges. Let this serve as a warning to anyone who would threaten the homes of our most vulnerable neighbors: Your day in court is coming.”