A Maryland man has been sentenced for a long-running fraud scheme that targeted distressed homeowners throughout Connecticut. 51-year old Bradford Barneys was ordered to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
He was accused of conspiring with a former Easton man who told people he would purchase homes in foreclosure and pay off the mortgages. But authorities say Timothy Burke actually rented out the properties on Craigslist, and falsified records. Burke pocketed the money and didn't pay off the homeowner's mortgages or property taxes.
Barneys was a Bridgeport attorney who was paid more than $72,000 in fees and other monies for his participation in the fraud.
Barneys knew that Burke had no intention of buying the properties and paying the outstanding mortgages, and assured homeowners them that their sales to Burke or one of his companies were progressing as Burke promised. Barneys also represented Burke and his companies in eviction proceedings against tenants.
The investigation further revealed that he engaged in separate fraud scheme similar to the scheme that Burke engineered in Maryland. Barneys' law license was temporarily suspended by Connecticut authorities after he pleaded guilty, with additional proceedings scheduled to determine whether further discipline is warranted. Judge Shea ordered Barneys not to apply for reinstatement of his law license, and not to engage in any business related to real estate, while he is on supervised release.
Burke was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment in April.