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U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea sentenced con man Timothy W. Burke to 9 years in prison Friday, saying the scheme in which Burke took in millions at the expense of financially troubled homeowners was one of the most serious white-collar crimes the judge had seen.
Shea went beyond the maximum eight-year prison term recommended under federal sentencing guidelines, in part he said because Burke, 65, previously had served three sentences, the longest for five years, for committing the same or similar crimes.
“Imagine, Mr. Burke, if you were robbed at gunpoint by someone who previously had received a relatively short sentence for the same crime. You’d be outraged,” Shea said.
Burke, described by victims as a charmer who would take them out to dinner, stop by their homes often and promise to relieve them of their underwater properties, would disappear as soon as the victims realized he had not fulfilled his promise, according to