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Ex-Easton man admits defrauding homeowners in foreclosure scheme

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HARTFORD — A former Easton man has admitted he and his associates bilked homeowners facing foreclosure out of thousands of dollars by falsely promising to buy their homes and pay off their mortgages.

Timothy Burke pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to mail fraud and tax evasion. The 65-year-old Burke faces up to 25 years in prison at his sentencing in April.

Prosecutors say Burke and attorney Bradford Barneys assumed control of the homes and rented them out to tenants. Many of the properties Burke supposedly bought were ultimately foreclosed upon by the mortgage lender.

Authorities said Burke used more than a dozen aliases — including Pat Riley and Jim Caldwell — to conceal his identity.

Barneys has pleaded not guilty to his role the scheme.