Philly Cop Fails at Beating Real Estate Deal Into Profitability

Too many Americans found themselves mired in bad real estate deals over the past couple years. Some asked for (mostly ineffective) loan modifications, others toughed it out, or just walked away. Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro had a different idea when he lost $90,000 in a bad home building deal. Castro filed suit against real estate partner “W.E.,” earning him partial credit for faith in the justice system, but he also decided to take matters into his own hands. 

Castro wanted his money back, plus another $60,000 cash for his inconvenience. This led to him contracting with a cooperating witness (CW) in the case to retain a debt collector to rough up the borrowers. Only one problem: That debt collector turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. The Eastern Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s office charged Castro yesterday for referring other would-be extorters to the undercover agent’s collection service—some of his buddies wanted to extract $26,000 out of a similarly failed nightclub deal in Florida. The full indictment, courtesy of the Philadelphia City Paper, suggests Castro may have misunderstood exactly how real estate investments work:

[Castro] instructed the (CW) and the Collector to obtain an additional $60,000, for a total of $150,000, from W.E. as “interest” on the $90,000 he invested, even though the Real Estate Project had failed and defendant CASTRO was not entitled to this interest.

This mess comes at the end of a very bad year for the Philadelphia Police Department. Mid-July saw the arrest of three young officers for selling heroin seized in a bust to an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency agent. Then in August, a 26-year veteran cop was nailed for nabbing $825 out of a bar safe during during an evening out.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is aware of the problem, at least:

"I expect us to be standing here in the future," Ramsey said at a news conference with federal prosecutors, adding that Castro was the highest ranking person that he knew of to be arrested in the department. "We have a problem in the Philadelphia Police Department and I am committed to rooting it out."

More from Reason on police here.

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  • ||

    I need a shower after reading that alt text. Also, Castro is an ironic name.

  • ||

    Kudos to Brokaw for the alt-text. He's fitting in nicely here at H&R.

  • zoltan||

    I agree, great alt text.

  • 25th Annual Alt Text Awards||

    I laughed, I cried. I voted for Cavanaugh.

  • ||

    Confusing ballot?

  • Wind Rider||

    Hanging chad.

  • hmm||

    I see those Timmeh alt text classes are paying off.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Do they sell "Catholic Priest" legos?

  • Almanian||

    Next best thing....

    http://www.thebricktestament.com/

  • Almanian||

    Yep, that right there is high-quality alt text

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "We have a problem in the Philadelphia Police Department and I am committed to rooting it out."

    The problem is that for some reason they're all getting caught now.

    Also, I can't imagine what the reader who sees the alt text but not the picture would be thinking.

  • anarch, demure lexicographer ||

    "We have a problem in the Philadelphia Police Department and I am committed to rooting it out."

    From Urban Dictionary:

    rooting: In America it means cheering, in Australia it means ****ing.

    By the way, what does "I expect us to be standing here in the future" mean?

  • Mean Commentator||

    Too many Americans found themselves mired in bad real estate deals over the past couple years

    Just the facts, kid. Thanks.

  • ||

    This is an opinion magazine. If you want facts, watch MSNBC.

  • Bingo||

    lmao

  • ||

    """We have a problem in the Philadelphia Police Department and I am committed to rooting it out."""

    He's just not sure when that commitment should begin.

  • Quote Cop||

    """We...out."""

    Do you know why I pulled you over?

  • anarch, epistemologist||

    Officer, understanding your employment of the term know in the strict sense that eschews speculation, my affirmative answer would imply privileged access to certainty concerning the discretionary motives of a sovereign agent, which is, though not eo ipso analytically contradictory, remains counter-intuitively implausible. But your seeking recourse in an extra-subjective accounting of your own intent suggests agnosticism on your part inconsistent with the considered act's express deontological imperative. The pursued interrogative shift from parataxic to hypotaxic ontology through so inapposite an epoché adduces conclusory aporia where self-directed interrogation nominally departs from to prepon speech-acts.

    Ie, if you don't know, how the Hell should I know?

  • ||

    This is just so wrong. Since when do cops get arrested and tried for committing crimes?

  • Almanian as Sabdi||

    I took a shit in Philly once

  • Wonder||

    Did you do it in a restroom, or out on the street? And if it were the latter, did anybody notice?

  • Almanian as SANDI||

    Fucking typing skills....how do they work?

  • ||

    It's a motherfucking miracle...

  • ||

    Yes, he's committed to rooting it out. That's why all these bad cops have been busted by federal agencies rather than his own internal affairs office.

  • BakedPenguin||

    And he has been committed to not actively working against their investigations in any way that they could potentially discern.

  • Wind Rider||

    Simple. Let the feds drain their budget and do all the damned paperwork!

  • ||

    Luckily, we don't have any problems with cops being above the law in the other corner of PA. If you get sideswiped by a jail guard and ask for their insurance info, you might wind up an accused terrorist, though.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    That women should be charged with assault (she swings at him once during the video), filing a false report to police, and whatever the crime is for refusing to give your insurance info after a crash (perhaps fleeing the scene of an accident?).

  • hmm||

    Hey, these brave people aren't trained to deal with the stress of dangerous car accidents.

  • hmm||

    Come on guys. They aren't experts in morality. This kind of gray area is complicated and they just aren't trained to deal with it.

  • johnl||

    The funny thing is it looks from the indictment that W.E. is simply an embezzler who took $90k from Castro. And then Castro, even though he is a high ranking cop, decided it would be better to use the mob than legal system to recover. Which, given how inattentive law enforcement is to property crime, is probably true.

  • johnl||

    And I am not the first person to arrive at this conclusion. See comments by a reader of an article about Encarnacion's Penns Grove project. Seriously who pays an extortionist? There is more to this story.

  • ||

    Yikes. I read the first sentence and wondered if they wrote it drunk. Nope, just an intern.

    On the bright side, there's nowhere to go but up!

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