MARTINEZ -- A national real estate expert suspected of swindling a New York family out of more than $1 million was charged Tuesday with three felonies, Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson said.
Ken Beasley, a 67-year-old New York resident, was charged by Contra Costa County because he was living in Danville when the acts were committed. Beasley has published four books and has appeared on Fox News Channel as a real estate guru.
"He is without a doubt a national expert," said prosecutor Ken McCormick, who specializes in real estate fraud. "People came to him because of his expertise and reputation, and he exploited them."
Beasley was charged Tuesday with felony counts of embezzlement and one charge enhancement alleging excessive loss. The charges carry a penalty of up to six years and four months in state prison.
Beasley could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Prosecutors said he is being sent a notice to appear in court that, if ignored, could result in a warrant for his arrest.
A New York resident gave Beasley $1,140,000 in 2006 to buy three investment properties in Las Vegas. Beasley kept the money for himself, and then gave the victim false documents and wired monthly rental income payments to perpetuate the lie, McCormick said.
The victim didn't discover the fraud until years later when an attorney drawing up a will and trust did a title search on the properties, McCormick said.
Beasley operated the company "Network Exchange" when he lived in Danville, according to the District Attorney's Office. He has written four real estate books, including the 2009 title, "The Real Estate Market Sucks, Now What?: 8 Ways to Save or Sell Your Home."
The Contra Costa District Attorney says anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of real estate fraud may call its real estate fraud unit at 925-957-2200.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.