WOBURN — The former owner of a real estate company was convicted and sentenced in connection with a scheme to steal more than $580,000 by targeting homeowners from Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Attleboro and Chicopee, Attorney General Maura Healey said Friday.
Kevin Taing, 53, of Lowell, was found guilty on Jan. 31 of six counts of larceny by false pretenses and five counts of larceny by embezzlement.
On Friday, Judge Kenneth Fishman sentenced Taing to serve three years in state prison, which will run concurrently with a probationary term of seven years, which includes restitution of $580,710 and prohibitions on any work in which he has fiduciary responsibilities.
Taing is also prohibited from obtaining or renewing a real estate broker or salesperson license.
“Taing deliberately targeted vulnerable individuals who were facing foreclosure and struggling to find help,” Healey said. “He has been sentenced to state prison for these very serious crimes.”
Taing was a licensed real estate broker and principal of Eastern Funding & Investment, Inc. (EFI).
Taing, who is of Cambodian descent and speaks Khmer fluently, targeted 10 homeowners, most of Cambodian descent, facing foreclosure, to make payments to EFI rather than the actual holder of their mortgage loans.
Taing led these families to believe that by paying EFI they would reduce their monthly payments, stay in their homes or otherwise resolve their mortgage issues.
Taing sent these homeowners mortgage statements, but never forwarded any of the payments to the holders of the mortgage loans. Taing also converted the money paid to EFI to his personal use, using the funds to pay for personal expenses, credit card bills, restaurant and retail expenses, and to support a property near Huntington Beach, California.
The AG’s office began an investigation into this case late 2014 after a referral from a non-profit legal services agency. Taing was originally indicted in November 2016.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Matthew Bailey and Joshua Pakstis, of AG Healey’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Unit, with assistance from Senior Financial Investigator Molly Parks, Victim Witness Advocate Megan Murphy, and the Massachusetts State Police.