Michael David Scott was, for a time, a client of Jonathan Bowen Real Estate, LLC. My company, through my brother Jeffrey Bowen, helped him buy 74 Dix Street, Dorchester and, later, 286 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury. Here’s a bit of the story…
Jeffrey was a relatively new real estate agent in 2004 and he happened upon Michael David Scott, known to Jeffrey as Dave Scott, and Jeffrey, being a good real estate agent, sold Michael David Scott 74 Dix Street on December 14th, 2004. The name on the deed, in actuality, was Michael Walton but Michael David Scott was clearly the guy pulling the strings. I vaguely remember the sale but I don’t remember it raising any red flags.
Jeffrey and I were a bit stunned to see a story on Michael David Scott in The Boston Globe on April 25th, 2005 because we thought that we were going to make a lot of money with him since we seemingly had a good relationship with him; the story was entitled “Triple deckers get a second life: Developer reinvests in community by turning three-family houses into affordable condominiums“. The last line of the story reads “And to put the proverbial money where their mouths are, Hecker and Scott have set up a scholarship based on a percentage of Metro’s income that will be offered to a local student.” Michael David Scott, as it turns out, was really laying it on thick.
Fast forward to 2006… Jeffrey and I had been loosely following Michael David Scott. We had heard that he was buying up tons of property in Dorchester and Roxbury. Jeffrey had a listing at 286 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury and he was having a very difficult time selling the property. I think that I remember telling Jeffrey to contact Michael David Scott since we thought that he’d buy almost anything. And here’s where it gets weird. Jeffrey helped Michael David Scott close on 286 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury on October 25th, 2006 and Michael David Scott, we later found out, had all three units sold, impossibly, as condominiums to new buyers for ridiculous prices by October 31st, 2006 which was only six days later!
The jig was up. The real estate brokerage community in Dorchester and Roxbury started talking. We started comparing notes. We started contacting newspapers. The Dorchester Reporter wrote a piece on July 30th, 2008 entitled “Three-decker bingo: Lenders continue to pump big money into condos despite foreclosure histories” that featured Sirewl R. Cox who also goes by the name Lord Allah. I’ve spoken with Sirewl R. Cox in the course of my business, I knew him as Lord Allah, but I never sold him any properties; he was later sentenced to time in prison as better described in a press release dated December 20th, 2013 by the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts entitled “Developer Sentenced To 12.5 Years In Prison For Orchestrating Massive Mortgage Fraud Involving Over $7 Million In Loss“. Michael David Scott was also named in the Dorchester Reporter piece.
The cracks in Michael David Scott’s plan were starting to become holes. We all read the story on Boston.com on February 12th, 2009 entitled “Bank alleged it was defrauded of $1.5m: Suit names 2 former employees, 4 others involved in real estate” with a bit of glee but a Dorchester real estate agent named Joan Ruggiero got caught up in Michael David Scott’s web. Stories of Michael David Scott were largely unlistened to until we finally read an exposé in The Boston Globe on December 13th, 2009 entitled “Developer’s easy-money pitch left a trail of ruin: Of 169 condos sold, most in Dorchester, more than half are now in foreclosure“. The Dorchester Reporter also followed up with a story on Michael David Scott’s attorney, Michael R. Anderson in a piece dated September 9th, 2010 entitled “Attorney charged in alleged condo-flipping scheme“. Michael R. Anderson later plead guilty as described in a piece dated January 11th, 2011 on Boston.com entitled “Lawyer pleads guilty in condo fraud“.
I later noticed that Michael David Scott was acting as a practicing real estate agent that was focusing on short sales. There were quite a few listings of his that I wanted to show to my buyers but I wouldn’t because I had come to know that Michael David Scott was dirty. I tried to alert the readers of Universal Hub to Michael David Scott and his dealings in a vague comment that I posted on Adam Gaffin’s story dated October 7th, 2011 entitled “Prince Charles pleads guilty to Dorchester real-estate fraud“. Coincidentally, one of the developers that I had regularly worked with contacted Michael David Scott directly about one of Michael David Scott’s listings and that developer told me that Michael David Scott told the developer that he could have the property if the developer gave Michael David Scott, if I remember correctly, $40,000 in cash on the side. That is something that any real estate agent with any sense of ethics or morals would never even think about doing. The Boston Globe ran yet another story on Michael David Scott on March 25th, 2012 entitled “Mansfield developer facing trial, but still in real estate“.
The real estate brokerage community is a loose community so there’s not really a centralized voice wherein agents can regularly speak with each other. There are local real estate boards but many of us aren’t members of local real estate boards. You may have a poor opinion of real estate agents but I’ll tell you that the real estate agents that service Dorchester and Roxbury closed ranks and actively tried to get Michael David Scott out of the real estate business. Jessie Cuddy of Boston Bayside Properties in Dorchester complained to the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons and, as a result, Michael David Scott relinquished his Massachusetts real estate license. The Boston Globe ran a story on April 10th, 2012 entitled “Indicted local developer gives up his broker’s license: Also says he will never seek to have permit restored“.
The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts announced on June 2nd, 2015 that Michael David Scott accepted a plea deal and that he’s scheduled to be sentenced on August 26th, 2015. He’s facing years and years in prison. Why did it take so long for the issue to be identified and for justice to be served? I don’t know. I do know that Michael David Scott wouldn’t be headed to prison if it weren’t, partly, for the actions of good Dorchester and Roxbury real estate agents.