Timothy Lynn Beliveau is polite and pleasant, his lawyer told the judge, and that’s a reason to think he might turn his life around.

“Of course you’re pleasant and polite, you’re a con man,” retorted U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum. Con men who aren’t polite, the judge noted, tend to starve.

On Monday, Rosenbaum sentenced Beliveau to just over seven years in federal prison for his actions in a mortgage fraud scheme that fleeced unwitting investors and homeowners struggling to escape foreclosure. One octogenarian victim, Telsche Paulson, was forced out of her Minneapolis home of 50 years.

Beliveau, 42, of Mound, used the proceeds to pay for boats, mansions and diamonds. He admitted to tax evasion and money laundering charges, but his attorney argued in court papers that the scheme was related to Beliveau's ultimately failed effort to rescue his businesses.

Rosenbaum didn't buy it. He accused Beliveau of trying to pull one over on the court. "You knew from the get-go that this was nothing but a fraud." 

Beliveau, who had already apologized, mumbled a protest - "I'm responsible for this."

"You're not responsible," the judge shot back. "You're guilty."

Beliveau's attorney asked the judge to let him serve his time in a South Dakota federal pen. Denied.

Beliveau's attorney asked the judge to give him one more month to get his affairs in order. Denied.

“Grow up,” the judge told him. “It’s time to live a better life.”

Beliveau put his hands behind him, accepted the handcuffs from a federal marshal and walked through a door in the side of the courtroom.

Beliveau's ex-wife, Shelley Milless, is scheduled to report to prison this week after being sentenced to two years for tax evasion in the fraud scheme.