Feds score another victory against condo flippers with conviction of Needham lawyer

A real-estate lawyer faces a lengthy stay in federal prison after a jury convicted him this week of 33 counts of wire fraud and 5 counts of money laundering for his role in a scheme to defraud lenders on the sale of condos in a Neponset Avenue building in 2006 and 2007, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

Marc Foley, 46, will be sentenced on Nov. 12 for his role in the scheme, which involved straw buyers for condos at 133 Neponset Ave. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire-fraud charges and additional time on the money-laundering counts, the US Attorney's office says.

According to the US Attorney's office:

"The evidence showed that when Foley and an associate acting under his direction closed the loans, documents sent to the mortgage lenders falsely represented that funds ranging from $9,300 to $39,000 had been collected at the closings from the borrowers. In actuality, the borrowers made no down payments and paid no funds at the closings. Foley entered into an undisclosed agreement with the seller to subtract from the seller's proceeds all the funds that were reported to the lenders as coming from the borrowers, and that Foley used various other means to conceal from the lenders that the borrowers had provided no funds for the purchases."

According to the indictment against him, the "buyers" got kickbacks in exchange for their participation. In at least two cases, the feds charged, Foley and pals forged banker's checks to present to lenders as proof of payment. Then, when the mortgages went through, Foley and his accomplices would pocket the alleged cash put up by the straw buyers.

Over the past few years, numerous real-estate brokers and lawyers have been indicted and convicted for condo flipping schemes in Dorchester and surrounding areas. Typically, they would collect fees on mortgages issued to straw buyers, who would then default, letting the schemers collect still more fees on mortgages issues to new straw buyers.

A Norwood real-estate broker still faces trial on 55 counts related to a similar scheme at 135 Neponset Ave.

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