EASTON, Conn. – An Easton man, who authorities said preyed on struggling homeowners, has been charged with multiple offenses, including fraud and identity theft, according to U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Timothy W. Burke, 64, also known as Kerry Saunders, Pat Riley and other aliases, was indicted Wednesday in a long-running scheme to defraud individuals, mortgage lenders, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Deirdre Daly.
Burke, who was arrested in November, has pleaded not guilty. He was indicted on 10 counts of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and identity theft by a federal grand jury in Bridgeport earlier this month.
According to Daly, Burke convinced homeowners facing foreclosure to sign documents that would let him buy their homes and pay off their mortgages.
After getting control of the properties, Daly said, Burke would rent them out and pocket the proceeds.
He then failed to negotiate with his victims’ mortgage lenders or to pay any of the household expenses, Daly said.
Many of the homes Burke pretended to purchase were foreclosed on, Daly added.
Furthermore, Burke is accused of using multiple aliases and business entities to hide the sources of his “criminal proceeds,” Daly said.
The indictment alleges Burke used the scam to avoid paying about $1 million in federal taxes.
Burke’s spent time in federal prison 14 years ago for conspiracy to commit equity skimming and mail fraud, Daly said. One of the conditions of his 2007 release was, she said, was that he never work in the real estate or mortgage business again.
If convicted, Burke faces maximum prison term of 20 years on each count of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, a maximum term of imprisonment of five years for tax evasion and a mandatory, consecutive two-year term of imprisonment for aggravated identity theft.
The investigation is ongoing and potential victims are being encouraged to call (860) 240-9735.