A New England real estate broker is headed to the big house after a three-year scheme of defrauding prospective homebuyers out of millions.
Michael Flavin, 39, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, the Department of Justice announced this week. The Quincy broker will also serve three years of supervised release.
According to the Justice Department, Flavin’s scheme started in 2017 and lasted through April 2020. Flavin marketed numerous properties that were not actually for sale, soliciting deposits from hopeful buyers unaware of the scam.
Flavin executed purchase and sale agreements, taking deposits despite property owners failing to actually agree to sell their homes. The broker went so far as to forge signatures on the purchase and sale agreements to make it all look legitimate.
During the three-year scam, Flavin cashed more than 60 checks in connection to the fraud, totaling about $1.8 million.
Ultimately, the law caught up to Flavin. In December, he pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The court reserved the right to hold a restitution hearing at a later date.
When Flavin pleaded guilty, his attorney said that Flavin had “accepted full responsibility for his actions,” according to the Associated Press. The attorney also said “all parties have been made whole,” although the potential for a hearing regarding restitution suggests the court doesn’t necessarily agree.
Pleading guilty may have helped Flavin get off easier than expected. Prosecutors previously said Flavin could face up to 20 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine for each charge of wire fraud.
A Realtor.com page for Flavin noted that he’s a member of the local, state and realtor associations. He is also said to be the third-generation owner of a family-owned business.
That business, Quincy-based Flavin & Flavin, doesn’t appear to have any references to Michael remaining on its website. There are three Flavins listed on the agents page, but Michael is not one of them.