A Massachusetts man who according to authorities preyed on people who wanted to buy homes by collecting deposits on properties that had either already been sold or were not even for sale was sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
Michael P. Flavin, 39, of Quincy, cashed more than 60 deposit checks totaling about $1.8 million over a three-year period, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.
Flavin executed purchase and sales agreements and received deposit checks from or on behalf of the potential buyers, even though the owners of the properties had not agreed to sell to those particular buyers, prosecutors said.
To carry out the scheme, he forged the sellers' signatures, prosecutors said.
He pleaded guilty last December to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. A hearing will be held at a future date to determine restitution.