Arrest made in ‘operation NOT for sale by owner’ real estate scam

A Loxahatchee woman was arrested Wednesday after investigators said she stole nearly $300,000 from dozens of victims in a real estate scam.

Officials said Tabria Anorria Josey, 20, defrauded more than 45 victims attempting to sell or rent 25 properties in Lee, Indian River, Palm Beach, Flagler, Orange and St. Lucie counties.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Josey listed properties for sale on several real estate websites without the owners’ knowledge.

Detectives said she allegedly impersonated the owners and acted as the title agent facilitating the closing after the victim committed to buying the property.

“The defendant took advantage of Florida’s red-hot real estate market to rip off homebuyers and renters,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. “Her crimes spanned six counties, involved 25 properties and tricked consumers into parting with nearly $300,000. As the investigation into this elaborate real estate scheme remains active, my statewide prosecutors will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure the defendant faces justice for her crimes.”

FDLE said Josey created fictitious title companies, websites, title agent identities and unique email addresses to make the sale appear legitimate.

She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail and charged with scheme to defraud, grand theft, money laundering, aggravated white-collar crime and communications fraud.

FDLE agents said there could be more victims.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact FDLE Fort Myers at 1-800-407-4880.

The investigation is ongoing.

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