Quincy real estate broker sentenced to prison for $1.8 million scam

BOSTON – A Quincy real estate broker was sentenced 2½ years in prison Wednesday for falsely marketing properties that were not for sale and then stealing about $1.8 million in buyers’ real estate deposits.

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office.
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office.
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Michael P. Flavin, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office said.  A restitution order won't be imposed until a later date. Flavin had faced up to 20 years in prison.

On Dec. 17, 2021, Flavin pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

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Between 2017 and April 2020, he solicited deposits on real estate transactions by marketing numerous real estate properties that were not 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 property owners had not agreed to sell their properties or sell them to those buyers.

Flavin forged the sellers' signatures on the purchase-and-sale agreements. Over a period of about three years, Flavin cashed more than 60 deposit checks totaling about $1.8 million.

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Prosecutors said earlier that Flavin created emails with different names and forged signatures to help facilitate the scheme. In one case, Flavin sent himself an email purportedly to be from a Quincy fire inspector containing an altered inspection report. The report claimed that a property had failed an inspection. Flavin then forwarded it to a victim, according to prosecutors. The building had in fact passed inspection, prosecutors say, and the email was fake.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A. Wild of the U.S. attorney's Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, announced the sentence Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Quincy man sentenced for $1.8M realty scam