A former Easton resident was sentenced to nine years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding distressed homeowners in a foreclosure scam and for tax evasion.
Timothy W. Burke was charged for participating in a scheme to gain ownership to homes owned by people facing property foreclosures. Burke, working under myriad false personal and corporate identities, rented out the properties via Craigslist postings that incorrectly identified him as the homeowner. Burke told the real homeowners that he would handle the negotiations with their lenders and the property taxes associated with the properties, but he never followed through and many of the properties were ultimately foreclosed upon. Burke also failed to pay taxes on the rental income he generated during this scheme, which ran between 2010 and 2015.
Burke failed to pay approximately $403,726 in federal taxes between 1994 and 2012. He now owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $1 million in back taxes, interest and penalties. Burke pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion in January.
Bradford Barneys, a Bridgeport-based attorney who assisted Burke in this scheme, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing.