A Boston-area real estate agent pleaded guilty to a scheme that saw him pocket $2 million from marketing houses that were not actually for sale, according to reports.
Michael Flavin, 38, of Quincy, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft in Boston Federal Court on Dec. 17, the Associated Press reported. His sentencing date has been set for April 12.
Flavin’s attorney Steven Boozang told the AP that Flavin had “accepted full responsibility for his actions,” and that “all parties had been made whole.” Boozang and Flavin — who is identified in news reports as belonging to a high-profile Boston family — could not be reached for further comment by deadline.
According to Massachusetts prosecutors, Flavin solicited deposits from buyers by marketing houses that were not actually for sale.
U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Nathaniel Mendell’s office said the agent executed purchase and sale agreements and received deposit checks from buyers, even though sellers had not agreed to sell their houses. He then forged the signature of sellers on false purchase and sale agreements, prosecutors said.
According to the Patriot-Ledger, Flavin created false email addresses to aid his scheme, including one address purported to be from a local fire inspector which contained an altered inspection report.
Between 2017 and 2020, Flavin cashed more than 60 deposit checks, netting him approximately $1.8 million in ill-gotten gains, according to law enforcement officials.
Flavin faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge of wire fraud.