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Easton Man Charged With Defrauding Distressed Homeowners

Timothy Burke
Timothy Burke Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut Screenshot

EASTON, CONN. -- Federal officials arrested and charged an Easton man with mail fraud Thursday, accusing him of operating a long-running lending scheme, under many different names, to steal from distressed homeowners who were facing foreclosure, according to the office of the U. S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Timothy M. Burke, 64, of Easton, is in custody awaiting a Monday hearing. He appeared Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven, federal officials said.

If convicted, he faces 20 years in federal prision, federal officials said.

Burke, who is also known as “Tim Burke,” “William Burke,” “Bill Burke,” “Jeff Burke,” “Kerry Saunders,” “Pat Riley,” “Jim Caldwell,” “Jim Saunders,” “Tom Morrisey,” “Jimmy,” “Phil Burke,” “Phil,” and “Burt,” is accused of promising homeowners facing foreclosure that he would buy their homes and pay off their mortgages, federal officials said. But, instead, he rented the houses, and made thousands that should have been due the homeowners.

The criminal complaint says the operation started in May 2008, and continued until September. Federal officials said he tried to defraud not only individuals, but mortgage lenders and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Federal officials are urging anyone who may have been victimized by this scheme, or anyone with information, to call (860)-240-9735.

The complaint alleges that the fraud scheme has involved dozens of residential properties throughout Connecticut, and that he's made hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

Federal officials said he worked with several businesses, including Quality Asset Management Services, LLC; Birmingham Investments, LLC; the Birmingham Group of Companies; Saunders Associates; New Haven Investments; Realty Partners Group; Preston Associates II; Landlord Maintenance Services, LLC; Turnkey Construction Services LLC; and The Complete Handyman, LLC.

Federal officials said he was convicted more than 10 years ago of mail fraud and equity skimming in New Jersey. One of the conditions to his supervised release in that case was that he not engage in the real estage or mortgage business, federal officials said.

Federal officials making the announcement Thursday were Deirdre M. Daly, U. S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Christina Scaringi, special agent in charge of the Northeast Region of HUD’s Office of Inspector General; William P. Offord, special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England; and James V. Buthorn, acting inspector in charge for the Boston Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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