- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Jail for Stealing Property From Homeowners and Selling to Third-party Buyers to Make Profit
WOBURN — The former co-owner of Malden real estate company Ashmex, Inc. has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to jail in connection with a scheme to steal real estate from property owners and then sell it for profit, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Last week, Kofi Asare, age 43, from Worcester, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to four counts each of Forgery, Larceny over $250, and Uttering a False Writing.
After the plea was entered, Judge Patrick M. Haggan sentenced Asare to two years in the House of Correction, with six months to serve, and the balance suspended for a probationary period of two years, with the conditions that he pay restitution in the amount of $549,480, dissolve all entities he owns that engage in the acquisition and sale of real estate, and be prohibited from practicing real estate and/or being employed by any entity that buys, sells or markets real estate.
“This defendant perpetrated a real estate scheme in which he stole from homeowners and falsified documents in order to make a profit for himself,” said AG Healey. “We remain dedicated to protecting people with distressed properties from these predatory and deceptive practices.”
The AG’s Consumer Protection Division began an investigation after receiving a referral from the AG’s Neighborhood Renewal Division. The investigation revealed that starting around 2015, Asare began stealing real estate from property owners and would sell those properties for profit.
Part of the fraudulent scheme involved creating fake deeds, whereby Asare would list the original homeowner’s name and forge their signature to transfer the property to himself or Ashmex. Once he illegally acquired ownership to these properties, he would try selling the property to third-party buyers without the victims’ knowledge, keeping all profits for himself or his business.
The investigation also found that Asare posed as a real estate agent in order to obtain more information on the homeowners’ mortgages, including payment history, payoffs, and making requests for short sales. He then used this information to further facilitate the sale of many of these properties.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Carlos Wilder of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, and Senior Trial Counsel Matthew Berge of the AG’s Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau, with assistance from Marlee Greer of the AG’s Civil Investigations Division, Megan Murphy of the AG’s Victim Services Division, and Assistant Attorney General Kimberly McDonald of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division.