Three Men Face Charges For Broward County Real Estate Theft Conspiracy
Some things are harder to steal than others. Many items are easy enough to transfer from the rightful owner’s house or from a retail store and into your pocket or backpack. Vehicle theft requires you to do some fancy wiring and then put your foot on the gas before anyone else figures out what you are up to. Identity theft can begin with a screenshot or a sweet-talking email. How do you steal a real estate property, though? It stands to reason that you can hook a mobile home to the back of your truck without the rightful owner’s permission, and then drive away into the darkness, provided that you have a big enough truck. Stealing a South Florida McMansion requires some elaborate planning, however, so imagine all the pieces that must fall into place to enable the theft of 14 real estate properties. Three Florida men are facing charges for a conspiracy to defraud elderly homeowners out of the ownership of their homes. If you are facing criminal charges for making false statements on documents related to real estate properties, contact a West Palm Beach white collar crime lawyer.
Defendants Allegedly Posed as Homeowners and Representatives of Bank-Owned Property
Yury Domatov, Michael Dupree, and Tyrone Jones are facing criminal charges for deed fraud, first-degree grand theft, identity theft, and filing fraudulent court filings. The conspirators allegedly filed lawsuits against homeowners, claiming that the real estate properties were uninhabitable, and that the conspirators needed to take possession of them to demolish them. Their aim was for the rightful owners of the properties not to respond to the lawsuits, either because they were seniors who were too medically fragile to respond to the lawsuits and had no one to help them or because they simply lacked the financial resources to challenge the lawsuits. A default judgment would turn Domatov, Dupree, or Jones into the legal owner of the property.
Some of the properties the alleged conspirators targeted were bank owned. The conspirator would list Dupree as the representative of the bank, and a process server would serve the papers at Dupree’s mobile home in Hillsborough County. Dupree would not respond to the lawsuit, resulting in a default judgment.
The criminal investigation began when the defendants went to the house of a 76-year-old woman in Dania Beach, bearing documents that they claimed entitled them to her home, but she did not believe them and called the police. By this time, they had already appropriated 14 properties, worth a total of approximately $12 million. Marty Klar, the property appraiser for Broward County, has described South Florida as the title fraud capital of the world. The defendants could face long prison sentences if convicted, especially Dupree, since he has a prior felony conviction.
Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County. Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.