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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 17, 2021

Quincy Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty to Real Estate Deposit Scam

Defendant stole approximately $1.8 million in deposit checks including for properties not for sale

BOSTON – A Quincy real estate broker pleaded guilty today to operating a scheme in which he falsely marketed properties that were not for sale, or had already been sold, and then stole the buyers’ real estate deposits. 

Michael P. Flavin, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for April 12, 2022.

Between 2017 and April 2020, Flavin solicited deposits on real estate transactions by marketing numerous real estate properties that were not actually for sale. In each case, Flavin executed purchase and sale agreements and received deposit checks from or on behalf of the potential buyers, even though the actual owners of the properties had not agreed to sell their properties or to sell them to those buyers. Flavin forged the signatures of the sellers on the purported purchase and sale agreements. Over this period of approximately three years, Flavin cashed more than 60 deposit checks totaling approximately $1.8 million. 

The charges of wire fraud each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charges of aggravated identity theft each provide for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Sara Miron Bloom of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.  

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 17, 2021