Real Estate Broker Charged with Theft by Deception

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Police in Lackawanna County say a man suffering from Alzheimer's disease was robbed of his home and everything in it all because of a real estate broker he met at a cigar shop.

The broker is now facing felony charges and was in court Tuesday.

The defendant Christopher Musti is a Scranton native now living in Florida. He's worn a lot of hats in his hometown. He was a Scranton school director, then a Pennsylvania state constable. He now owns a real estate business. He's accused of using that business to defraud a man with Alzheimer's disease of his home and all his possessions.

Musti is charged with theft by deception and fraud.

A year ago, he started a real estate business called Florida Gator Properties, LLC. The charges stem from the sale of a property in Musti's hometown of Scranton just before he moved to Florida.

According to court papers, Musti met his alleged victim at a cigar shop downtown where they became friends. The 73-year-old man suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He told Musti how he was struggling to cover the taxes at the apartment home he owned and lived in.

Last June, two women hired to clean the home contacted the Area Agency on Aging when they found the man in his apartment with only a chair. All of his possessions were gone. There were no appliances, no food, and no running water. It's not clear how many days he had been there.

The man told the women that Musti had sold his house and auctioned off everything he owned.

Investigators eventually found that Musti bought and sold the house, turning a profit and earning a finder's fee.

The alleged victim's things were sold at auction. The auction company valued it all at more than $12,000.

Musti's defense attorney says the alleged victim was aware of it all and that Musti was only trying to help him out and did nothing wrong.

Musti was charged last month. He was in Lackawanna County Court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, but that hearing was rescheduled. His defense attorney asked that Musti have a mental health evaluation to see if he's competent to stand trial.

The alleged victim is now in a personal care home.

10 comments

  • savescrantonhistory

    This isn’t the first rodeo for ol’ Chris either. He received probation just TWO years ago for impersonating a police officer. I’m pretty sure he had to resign from the school board in disgrace too.

  • Mopar Driver (@RustyMopars)

    Another insider criminal , school director , constable, whom take advantage and defraud the public at all chances , any surprise he would rob an invalid of all his possessions and feel nothing . Surprise will be that he will get nothing for his crimes cause he;s a good ole boy like our rapist prison guards

    • Joe Justjoe (@ForjoeJustjoe)

      It might be tough for the state to prove this was a criminal matter. If nothing else the accused loses his windfall to the attorney he has handling the case. Too bad the viktim “obviously” has no family or friends who give a sheet about him. This wouldn’t have happened if he did. The family can still file a civil suit…or 2.

      • Rusty Knyffe

        Unfortunately, a civil suit can easily be dismissed through Federal Bankruptcy. The judgement would stand and be visible in a background check, but the monetary award could vanish just as quickly as the victim’s belongings did.

        Musti, if found guilty, should be flogged in public. What a parasite!

  • whopperplopper

    this clown wants it both ways.

    “Musti’s defense attorney says the alleged victim was aware of it all and that Musti was only trying to help him out and did nothing wrong.” that would mean his client is competent.

    “His defense attorney asked that Musti have a mental health evaluation to see if he’s competent to stand trial.”
    The Sgt Shultz defense, “I know nothing, I see nothing and I hear nothing.”

    next thing is he’ll be seen walking around town in his PJ’s, bathrobe & slippers.

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