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Deed Fraud Rampant in Florida's Online Records

Investigators acknowledge criminals used images published by counties online

 

 

 

Deed scams leave mess for state, counties

 

Officials see no easy fix for forgery cons

State and county officials say they're not sure whether they'll ever be able to stop con artists from using forged deeds to steal property. Most of the land was owned by people from across the nation and around the world who died years ago and whose property taxes were going unpaid. Some deed scammers have forged signatures using dead owners and fake witnesses and have hijacked the stamps and seals of notaries who say they had no idea what was going on.

Tighter deed laws sought

"It's one thing if these guys are committing crimes," Aronberg said. "It's another thing if the state is facilitating it. The state shouldn't be making it easy for this kind of thing to go on."

The people filing the deeds apparently are focusing on vacant lots with overdue taxes and may be using the Internet to research the owners.

 

Deed probe spreads to Belgium

 

Signatures forged in SW Fla. land deals

"I spoke with the National Chamber of Notaries, and they will file charges," Eeman said. At least two notaries in Belgium said their signatures and seals were forged on deeds filed in Lee County by USA Real Estate Solutions Inc. of Punta Gorda.

Scam artists apparently are finding victims from as far away as China, Taiwan, Spain and the Congo by using the Internet to research vacant lots with overdue property taxes.
 

Firm files deeds with 'signatures' of dead
Realtor claims to buy lots from owners' heirs

 

Name of Bahamian resurfaces in scam

Receives check sent to absentee land owner

 

Woman sues over stolen lots

Scores of fraudulent deeds have surfaced in Lee and Charlotte counties in recent months including dozens with signatures of dead people

 

Florida sues Singapore man, accuses him of land fraud

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist is suing a man he says used a Marco Island address, fraud and threats to profit from hundreds of vacant lots owned by others. According to the suit, Teal used the Internet to locate his victims, who usually lived in other states and often were elderly

 

Notaries Caught in Middle

Attorney Ira Silver says he has no idea how his notary stamp ended up on a fake deed filed in Lee County by a firm called Zubrick Inc.

 

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