New York Man Sentenced for Cape Cod Property Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2013|
BOSTON—A New York man was sentenced today in connection with a scheme to defraud a Massachusetts man of his Hyannis waterfront property.
Michael Howard Clott, aka Michael Howard, 60, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel to 152 months, followed by 36 months of supervised release, and forfeiture of $1,269,168 and was ordered to pay $1,425 in restitution. In November 2012, Clott pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
From December 2009 through April 2010, Clott spent several months on Cape Cod engaged in a scheme to defraud a Massachusetts man of a property he valued at more than $2.8 million. During this period, Clott was a fugitive from a federal criminal case against him in New York. Clott used the alias “Michael Howard” and represented to others that he was an attorney and financial executive who specialized in purchasing, repairing, and marketing bank-owned real estate when, in fact, Clott was none of those things. Clott, however, persuaded a local real estate broker to sell a client’s property for half the asking price and then give the sale proceeds to Clott who would use his purported financial expertise to generate an after-tax benefit for the client equivalent to the client’s asking price. Instead of using the proceeds for the client’s benefit, Clott manipulated others to unwittingly assist in negotiating the proceeds check to enable him to deposit the funds in an account for Clott’s personal benefit. However, Clott’s scheme was discovered and the funds were secured before Clott could further disburse or conceal them.
During the past 30 years, Clott has either been engaged in significant fraud schemes or been serving time in prison for those schemes. Most recently, Clott was sentenced by the Southern District of New York to 259 months in prison, which he will serve concurrent to his sentence in the District of Massachusetts.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark J. Balthazard and Veronica Lei of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit and Asset Forfeiture Unit, respectively.