MALDEN, MA – The former co-owner of a Malden real estate company has pleaded guilty to a scheme to steal property from owners and resell them for a profit, said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Kofi Asare, 43, of Worcester, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to four counts of forgery, theft over $ 250 and false writing.
“This defendant carried out a real estate scheme in which he stole from owners and falsified documents in order to make a profit for himself,” Healey said in a statement. “We remain committed to protecting those with distressed properties from these predatory and deceptive practices.”
Healey’s office said Asare started stealing real estate around 2015 by creating forged deeds, on which he forged the owner’s signature to transfer ownership to himself or his company, Ashmex, Inc.
Once Asare fraudulently acquired the property, he would try to sell it to third-party buyers without the victim’s knowledge, keeping the profits for himself or his business, investigators said.
Asare also posed as a real estate agent to get more information on homeowners’ mortgages, including payment history, repayments and requests for short sales, Healey’s office said, using these information to facilitate the sale of properties.
A judge sentenced Asare to two years in the reformatory, with six months to serve, and the balance suspended for a two-year probationary period, with conditions. Asare is to pay a restitution of $ 549,480, dissolve all entities he owns that engage in the acquisition and sale of real estate, and refrain from practicing real estate or being employed by any entity that buys, sells or markets real estate.