Man sentenced for stealing $112K in ‘rent to own’ scheme

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — An Easton man was sentenced to prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to running a rent-to-own scheme.

A judge sentenced Joshua Leventhal to two years behind bars with 10 months to serve and the rest on probation, according to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Leventhal, 44, pleaded guilty to four counts of larceny over $250 and larceny by a single scheme for stealing $112,000 from his customers between 2010 and 2011. The AG’s office said Leventhal touted his program as a way for first-time home buyers or people with poor credit to purchase property by renting it from the homeowner, with a portion of each monthly check being set aside to go towards one day owning the property.

The AG’s office said not one of Leventhal’s customers ever purchased a home under the program.

“This defendant tricked consumers into believing his program would result in easy homeownership, when in fact, not one of his nearly 100 customers was ever able to purchase a home through that program,” said Coakley in a statement. “He will now serve time in jail for his crimes and will be required to pay full restitution to the victims.”

Leventhal was also ordered to pay full restitution to his victims.

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