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BOSTON, Mass. - A New York fugitive from justice was charged yesterday in federal court with mail and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud a Massachusetts man of his Hyannis waterfront property.

MICHAEL HOWARD CLOTT, aka MICHAEL HOWARD, 58, currently in custody in New York, was charged in an indictment with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges that while a fugitive from the New York case, Clott spent several months on Cape Cod from December 2009 through April 2010, during which he engaged in a scheme to defraud a Massachusetts man of a property valued at more than $2.8 million. According to the charges, Clott used the alias “Michael Howard,” and represented to others that he was an attorney and financial executive who specialized in purchasing, repairing and marketing bank-owned real estate. Clott persuaded a local real estate broker to sell a client’s property for half the asking price, then give the sale proceeds to Clott who would use his financial expertise to generate an after-tax benefit for the client equivalent to the client’s asking price. The indictment further alleges that instead of using the proceeds for the client’s benefit, Clott manipulated others to unwittingly assist in negotiating the proceeds check to enable him to deposit the funds in an account for Clott’s personal benefit. According to the indictment, Clott’s scheme was discovered in time to secure the funds before Clott could further disburse or conceal them.

If convicted, Clott faces up to 20 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the six counts.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark J. Balthazard and Veronica Lei of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit and Asset Forfeiture Unit, respectively.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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