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Former downstate attorney indicted

Alice Belmonte, 47, a former downstate attorney, is facing fraud and theft charges in Manhattan where she was named Thursday in a 49-count indictment.

Among the charges she is facing are first-, second- and third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, second-degree identity theft, first-degree scheme to defraud and issuing a bad check.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said Belmonte resigned from the New York Bar in February for allegedly defrauding investors and stealing millions of dollars through a wide-ranging real estate investment scheme.

“This lawyer mortgaged her future,” Vance said. “Attorneys have a responsibility to be trustworthy and honest with their clients and stealing from them for personal enrichment is an embarrassment to our profession.”

According to the charges and statements made in court, between August 2011 and January 2013, Belmonte’s alleged fraudulent real estate investment scheme caused approximately $4 million in losses from more than 10 victims.

She is accused of convincing the victims to invest in foreclosures, with the promise of fast and large returns on their investments, and using their money to reimburse prior investors in a Ponzi scheme, or for her own purposes. Belmonte is also accused of issuing a series of bad checks to victims who demanded the return of their investments, bouncing more than $6 million in checks.