The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) announced today that a Connecticut attorney pleaded guilty for his role in a long-running fraud scheme that targeted struggling homeowners who were facing foreclosure.
Bradford Barneys, 51, of Odenton, Maryland, had conspired to commit fraud with co-defendant Timothy W. Burke, between approximately 2010 and November 2015, formerly of Easton.
Burke was the point man in the scam. According to the USDOJ, Burke had the victims sign various documents that stated they would be able to walk away from their homes without having to pay the mortgage and that he would negotiate with the lenders and to ignore any notices regarding foreclosure. Once he gained control of the homes, he would rent them out by falsely representing to tenants that Burke owned the property.
The facts are Burke and his agents collected the rents but failed to negotiate with the homeowners’ mortgage lender or pay expenses associated with the home, including the homeowner’s mortgages and property taxes, and he failed to pay any rental income he was collecting to the homeowners. Many of the properties Burke purportedly purchased were ultimately foreclosed upon by the mortgage lender.
Burke undertook extensive efforts to disguise his true identity, and hide his criminal past, from his victims through the use of multiple aliases and business entities, and to conceal the sources of and expenditures from his criminal proceeds.
Bradford Barneys participated in the scam from approximately 2011 to at least 2014. He began representing Burke in these meetings with homeowners knowing that Burke was committing fraud. He is scheduled sentenced on June 13, 2017.
On January 24, 2017, Burke pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion. He also awaits sentencing.