Second Florida woman charged in $300,000 real estate fraud

A second woman from the Loxahatchee area has been arrested and charged with a $300,000 real estate fraud that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement calls “Operation ‘NOT for sale by owner’ real estate scam.”

Lee County sheriff’s and court court records say Kiana Kiara-Alexis Russell, 22, was charged with organized fraud, money laundering and aggravated white collar crime involving the government and $50,000 or more, and money laundering. Russell was arrested in Tuesday’s first hours and released from Lee County Jail Tuesday night after posting $150,000 bond.

READ MORE: Were fake home sales in six Florida counties part of a $300,000 real estate fraud?

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Kiana Kiara-Alexis Russell Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Still in Lee County Jail is Russell’s Loxahatchee-area housemate, 20-year-old Tabria Josey, who was picked up and incarcerated in Palm Beach County Jail last week before being moved to Lee County. Josey is charged with organized fraud; money laundering, scheme to defraud less than $20,000, aggravated white collar crime involving the government and $50,000 or more, and two counts of communications fraud. Her bond is $190,000.

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Tabria Josey Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

FDLE said Josey listed properties she didn’t own as being for sale, then created websites and email addresses to electronically masquerade as homeowners and title agents to swindle potential buyers in Palm Beach, Orange, Indian River, Lee, St. Lucie and Flagler counties. So far, the agency says, it knows of 45 victims who were conned out of a combined $300,000.

The agency believes there could be more people Josey and Russell defrauded. Anyone who knows anything about this can call FDLE’s Fort Myers office, 800-407-4880.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.