Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Mass AG Bags Boston Man For Allegedly Stealing Approx. $50K In Escrow Deposits From Prospective Homebuyers While Masquerading As A Real Estate Broker

From the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General:
  • A Roxbury man posing as a real estate broker has been charged in connection with stealing thousands of dollars from potential homebuyers in Boston, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today [April 24].

    Cornell Mills, age 42, of Roxbury, was arraigned [] in Suffolk Superior Court on the charges of Larceny Over $250 (8 counts), Fiduciary Embezzlement (7 counts), Acting as a Broker without a License (7 counts) and Being a Common and Notorious Thief (1 count). Mills pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    The AG’s Office began an investigation in 2016 after referrals from the Division of Professional Licensure and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

    To carry out this scheme, Mills, who does not have a broker’s license, allegedly posed as a real estate broker and solicited potential homebuyers in Boston to give him thousands of dollars, which he claimed he would hold in escrow pending their purchase of a home. Mills allegedly had no escrow account, and instead used these funds for his personal use.

    Authorities found that in some instances, Mills would represent homeowners facing foreclosure, and offered to help them by selling their homes through a short sale. Authorities allege that Mills did not fulfill his promise to sell these homes, and instead ignored the homeowner’s attempts to contact him after he spent the deposits he received from potential buyers.

    The AG’s Office alleges Mills stole approximately $50,000 through this scheme.

    These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Consumers who feel that they could have been a victim of this or similar scams should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division at (617) 727-8400.

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