Developer charged in theft from partners

May 12, 1993|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

A prominent Baltimore real estate developer has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 from one of his real estate partnerships during a three-year period in the 1980s, said a state assistant attorney general.

Peter Issel, 52, of the first block of E. Lee St. was charged May 6 in Howard County Circuit Court with theft of $135,808 from MGI Associates Ltd. Partnership, based in Baltimore County, said Assistant Attorney General Christopher J. Romano, who investigates white-collar crimes.

Mr. Issel once served as a general partner for the real estate group, which owns the Mony Building in Columbia. In 1990, he severed ties with the group and 16 other partnerships, including Talbott Springs Ltd. Partnership, Little Patuxent Ltd. Partnership, and Woodmere I and II limited partnerships, all in Columbia.

Mr. Issel could not be reached for comment. His attorney, E. George Bendos, said through his secretary that he had no comment.

Mr. Issel remains free on his promise to appear in court, which may be as soon as next month. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine, Mr. Romano said.

In 1990, Mr. Issel filed for bankruptcy at the federal courthouse in Baltimore and resigned from his partnerships, Mr. Romano said. Mr. Issel's other partnerships included the Security Office Park in Woodlawn, I-70 Ltd. Partnership and Crossroads Ltd. Partnership in Anne Arundel County, and 200 Washington Avenue Ltd. Partnership in Towson.

Mr. Issel served as general partner for the real estate limited partnerships, which developed and built upscale office space, primarily in Howard County, the attorney general's office said. The partners then would lease the space.

The charging document said Mr. Issel "unlawfully and with fraudulent intent" stole the money from MGI between December 1985 and December 1988. He is believed to have acted alone, Mr. Romano said.

Members of the attorney general's office and the state police began investigating Mr. Issel after one of his partners at another partnership complained to the attorney general's office about possible wrongdoing, Mr. Romano said.

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