Five Tips For Avoiding Real Estate Scam Artists In Miami-Dade County

shortsalesgang.jpg
The Miami-Dade County Short Sales gang
​Yesterday, law enforcement officials finally busted the criminals behind one of the most brazen real estate scams in the state that has the second-most cases of mortgage fraud in America. Ayda Young, Yohany Garcia, Zoraida Abreu and Johnny Bou-Nassar were criminally charged in a multiple-count racketeering and grand theft indictment for stealing $2.4 million from 15 victims. After thoroughly reading the indictment, Banana Republican is amazed by the sheer audacity of the racket and the grand stupidity of its victims.

It's incredible what people are willing to believe when they want to play real life Monopoly. So we've got five tips for you folks out there who want to drop thousands of dollars on get-rich-quick real estate deals:

5. Use Google Earth for crissakes!
Had any of the victims bothered to search 27871 S. Dixie Highway -- the purported address to Miami-Dade County Short Sales, the bogus company set up by the thieves to conduct the fraudulent scheme -- they would have found a 20-year-old barber shop inside a nondescript shopping center in Naranja.

4. Casinos are for degenerate gamblers, not real estate professionals.
According to the indictment, Garcia found one of her victims after befriending his chauffeur, whom she met while gambling at the Miccosukee casino, where prosecutors allege the scam gang spent most of the money they stole.

3. Fast food restaurant parking lots are ideal for copping dime bags, but not for closing on a house.
In the parking lot of a Wendy's on Oct. 2, 2009, one of the victims, Martha Martinez, handed over two checks totaling $15,757 to an unknown male who had been sent by Garcia. The funds were supposed to be used to buy a house in West Miami. Martinez gave Garcia approximately $60,000 for three different properties.

2. If you get a refund from the scammer, take your money and run!
During a face-to-face meeting one day in May of 2010, Martinez was able to get back $28,000 from Garcia after months of waiting for the non existent property sales to go through. The refund was short-lived. Instead of sending the scam artist packing, the victim hung out with Garcia for a few more hours. After once again convincing Martinez the transactions were legitimate, Garcia left with the $28,000 plus an additional $5,000.

1. The Miami-Dade County Clerk's website is your friend.
Before laying out any cash for an investment property in our sunny place for shady people, pay an online visit to the clerk's web-site. A cursory search on the criminal case database would have informed the victims about Garcia's prior convictions for insurance fraud and fraudulently obtaining someone else's income tax return refund. Young has been convicted for running scams too, including the sale of fake collector coins at jacked up prices. Plus, you can also verify if there are any liens or pending foreclosures on a property you're intending to purchase.

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9 comments
Hacienda Misne
Hacienda Misne

You have not necessary to get an broker if you don't wish because you can still find a good deal without the help of a broker. However, their assistance will help you to find the best property for you.

Anthony Lopez
Anthony Lopez

Before investing to a property without any knowledge about it, a good way you will do to is look for a partner that has the experience and resources on real estate. This way you can assure that you won’t be scam.  He/she can help you decide and assure that the property you want to buy is legal or not. You can also check this video about a guy from Australia talks about US property investment. It discusses more information about real estate investment and some tips that can help you before buying a property.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar

As a Highlands Ranch real estate agent, these stories are always hard to read. What's the point in scamming people? We want our customers to trust us, not be wary of us. Though unfortunately it seems like in this day and time, it's necessary to always make sure you know who your realtors are.

Gopal Das
Gopal Das

Unfortunately, there are still tons of similar real estate scams out there…There is an iPhone app recently released, called Scam Detector, which exposes over 500 of the most notorious scams. It is worth checking it out, if you have an iPhone. The app is also online, if interested: www.scam-detector.com. Kinda cool, actually.

michael wind
michael wind

miami dade county clerk see if any companies in your area are no longer in business,call crimestopers

Veldora Arthur
Veldora Arthur

How about black City of Miami firefighter Veldora Arthur? She was using fire department computers and fax machines to run a $10 mil mortgage fraud scam. She even got black Fire Chief Kemp into paying her $20,000 per month while she waited 7 months to get convicted. Jury gave this scammer 4 years.

Joe Carrillo
Joe Carrillo

I negotiated with Young and Garcia and got $30,000. for my client. Then Garcia fled to Mexico and started a grow house operation. She was followed and photographic evience was obtained. All the time she was calling and taunting me. Now she will see me again at her arraignment and throught her prosecution.

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

Unfortunately, you can't fix stupid. That being said, some of these sound like they had to be doing it on purpose.

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