By Bay City News
A real estate broker, consultant, published author and occasional Fox News contributor on the subject was charged with embezzlement Tuesday in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Contra Costa County prosecutor Ken McCormick said former Danville resident Kenneth Beasley, 67, was charged with three counts of felony embezzlement and an enhancement for an excessive loss.
The charges stem from an elaborate fraud in which Beasley agreed to purchase three Las Vegas income properties for a New York property owner in 2006, McCormick said.
The prosecutor said the man and his wife contacted Beasley -- who has appeared as a contributor on Fox News' Neil Cavuto Show and has published at least four real estate books -- due to his reputed real estate expertise.
But when the couple entrusted Beasley with $1.1 million to buy the Las Vegas properties, he pocketed it and sent phony documents to make it look like he had purchased the properties in their name, according to McCormick.
He also wired the clients monthly rent payments to continue the scam.
In 2009, the clients conducted a title search on the Las Vegas properties and learned that they had never owned them, McCormick said.
The couple reported the fraud to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, which launched an investigation.
"It's deeply disturbing that you have a national expert on real estate and yet he's conning people," McCormick said.
The prosecutor said it is unknown whether the former Danville man embezzled money from other clients.
"It is difficult to catch a sophisticated criminal when they are aware of the nuances of the law and how to hide their criminality," the prosecutor said.
Beasley, who now lives in New York and works as a foreclosure consultant, formerly owned a real estate investment business called Network Exchange in Danville, according to the district attorney's office.
According to Beasley's website, futureofrealestate.com, he has worked in the industry for more than 30 years and has held real estate broker's licenses in three states.
Beasley had lost his California real estate license by 2009, around the same time he moved to New York, McCormick said.
Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.