BROOKLINE, Mass. - A convicted felon, a high-ranking police officer, a local attorney and a wealthy real estate investor are all linked to a fraud case involving stolen property and forged documents, a Boston 25 investigation has found.
Allen Seymour, 49, was caught in South Carolina, where investors said he had been on the run from fraud charges stemming from big money real estate scams targeting elderly victims.
An Oxford, Massachusetts native, Seymour is a convicted felon who served prison time for real estate and mortgage fraud that occurred in Worcester County. This time around, there are at least ten victims in Middlesex and Norfolk Counties.
Seymour, also known as Richard Chase, appeared surprised to see Boston 25 News outside Brookline District Court. Inside we learned about his capture in Conway, South Carolina, where prosecutor Sarah Shannon says he was heading south in a rental car with cash, coins and Oxycontin.
“The defendant refused countless commands by police to exit the vehicle and was ultimately tasered four times,” Shannon said in court.
Shannon says Seymour hit the road earlier this month when authorities discovered he was up to his old tricks.
“The defendant forged signatures, altered documents and transferred properties resulting in significant loss to the property owner and lending institution,” Shannon said.
One case involves a property on Western Avenue in Cambridge, according to a police report.
The 80-year-old owner returned home to find two men in suits and a locksmith changing the lock on his front door.
The suits told the man they were real estate investors who had just purchased the place for the bargain price of $980,000.
The problem is it was never for sale.
“I've been practicing for 20 years and, honestly, I have never seen anything this brazen before,” attorney Richard Vetstein told Boston 25 News.
Vetstein represents the Cambridge homeowner. He says Allen Seymour -- or somebody working on Seymour's behalf -- forged his clients signature on a document that transferred ownership of the property.
The notary public stamp used to certify the deed is a fake.
The forged document was filed as a legitimate transaction at the Middlesex County Register of Deeds, and just the like that, the man who bought 127 Western Avenue 50 years ago was no longer the owner on paper.
The bogus deed transferred the property to a company called Dudley Group LLC.
That brings us to newton police Lieutenant Francis Foley III.
According to the Secretary of State's office, Dudley Group LLC was registered to Lt. Foley and operated out of his Newton home.
After taking control of the property, records show Lt. Foley immediately flipped it to a Boston-area real estate investor for a $155,000 profit.
Foley also received a $70,000 check labeled as an assignment or finder's fee.
“I find it hard to believe that someone with that type of acumen and knowledge of the law can sit there and say he was duped,” Vetstein said. “He had to have known this guy Seymour had been in trouble with the law before and certainly if he didn’t know, then shame on him.”
Vetstein has filed a lawsuit against Allen Seymour, Lt. Foley and others involved in the transactions.
25 investigates attended a hearing on the civil case.
The lawyer for the investor who purchased the property from Foley has asked the judge to attach Foley's home until the case is settled.
Lt. Foley's attorney declined to speak with us on camera. But in court he called some of the allegations made against his client absolutely false.
He says Foley believed he was involved in a legitimate real estate deal and had no idea Richard Chase was really a convicted con-man named Allen Seymour.
“My client is a person in the middle. He's not a knowledgeable investor. He doesn’t know much about real estate,” attorney Neil Kreuzer said. “He was duped as well as the plaintiff.”
Seymour is being held on a $2.5 Million bail.
Meanwhile, a civil court judge is trying to figure out who will be held financially liable for fraudulent sale of this property and others.
Allen Seymour is the only person facing criminal charges in this case.
However, the FBI, Massachusetts attorney general and the Brookline police are still investigating the fraud and talking with victims.
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