LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — The Florida Office of Legislation Enforcement alleges Kiana Kiara-Alexis Russell, 22, worked together with Tabria Josey, 20, in a complicated actual estate fraud plan that lasted two yrs and collected far more than $140,000 in earnest revenue or down payments for Lee County authentic estate that neither Josey nor Russell owned.
Russell is charged with Plan To Defraud, Aggravated White-Collar Crime and Dollars Laundering and in the Lee County Jail. In complete, the FDLE claimed Russell and Josey collected extra than $217,000 from houses all through Florida. This includes eleven properties in Lee County – 9 in Lehigh Acres and two in Bonita Springs.
Josey, cheated much more than 45 victims into paying for authentic estate that totaled in excess of $300,000. Josey would do this by listing qualities devoid of the awareness of the house owners and put up the homes on many various web-sites then would act as the title agent to finalize the closing.
Far more: Report information how this scam was pulled off
The affidavit alleges Russell “conducted fiscal transactions by creating Stripe accounts and possessing the victims wire money for the fraudulent sale of the house to explained accounts” and that Russell “knowingly received the cash from the fraudulent genuine estate transactions and, in an effort and hard work to conceal the character of the crimes, routed the funds by Stripe, eventually ending up in their personalized financial institution accounts.”
Investigators identified, in between November 2020 and April 2022, that Josey created seven fictitious title providers and also bogus names of genuine estate agents. She also established up websites, Facebook accounts, e-mail addresses and profiles on web-sites like LinkedIn. The FDLE also alleges that Josey impersonated accredited agents to achieve these “sales” and obtain cash that potential buyers believed were for down payments or earnest income.
Although the investigation points to Josey as the mastermind powering the plan, Russell also lived with Josey as the two were in a romantic relationship. The FDLE claims that, after Josey collected funds from possible potential buyers and slice off further more conversation with them, Josey would transfer the funds into lender accounts for herself and also a joint account at a Regions Lender with Russell.
For a person of the 21 homes, in Palm Beach County, the FDLE alleges a Stripe account, applied to acquire payments from clientele, was in Russell’s title and date of beginning, undertaking organization as “Reflections Interior Design”, with an deal with from Detroit, Michigan.
In one more situation, investigators assert Josey and Russell established up a company referred to as, “Pawfect Doghouse”, in February 2022, as a puppy boarding small business. The FDLE notes that Russell was a licensed nursing assistant but experienced not labored in a yr.
FDLE brokers interviewed Russell on Might 11 and reported Russell claimed she at first believed Josey was a net designer. Agents arrested her the very same day.
Of the 21 attributes FDLE alleges Josey’s involvement with, we seemed at the eleven from Lee County. In total, investigators say that Josey defrauded folks out of $141,295 in these earnest payments from Lee County on your own.
Home #2, Lehigh Acres. April 13, 2021 to June 9, 2021. A sufferer attempts to purchase a residence for her daughter by Facebook Market, for sale by an “Angela Duggan” (a person of Josey’s aliases). The initial victim wired $2,500, which was the start of various victims for this one home. A further wired $5,000 on May 11, 2021. A 3rd sufferer wired $2,500 on June 7, 2021. Two other people sent $3,000 extra for a full of $13,000 in “earnest money” from 5 victims and an attempt to defraud yet another human being.
Residence #3, Lehigh Acres. July 28, 2021. Sufferer wired $2,500.
House #5, Lehigh Acres. August 18, 2021 to August 23, 2021. 3 victims wired in a whole of $11,700 to test and “buy” this property.
House #6, Lehigh Acres. September 1, 2021 to September 24, 2021. 5 far more victims, this time for a whole of $23,500 to “purchase” this assets.
Residence #8, Lehigh Acres. Oct 6, 2021 to Oct 22, 2021. 5 victims in complete for this property for a whole of $22,445.
Property #9, Lehigh Acres. Oct 22, 2021. Assets outlined on Zillow. A single victim for $4,500.
House #10, Lehigh Acres. October 22, 2021. One particular victim sent $6,400. Also the time when investigators tracked far more than $21,000 going from Josey’s Stripe account (where the earnest cash payments would go) into her personal financial institution account.
Residence #12, Lehigh Acres. November 23, 2021. One sufferer for $5,500.
Assets #18, Bonita Springs. February 2, 2022. For this assets, prosecutors say Josey took two diverse victims for $14,000 in total.
Home #19, Lehigh Acres. February 7, 2022 to February 15, 2022. A single target for $12,750.
House #21, Bonita Springs. April 11, 2022 to April 12, 2022. 1 target for $25,000.
The investigation is ongoing and there are explained to probably be much more victims. For individuals who may have additional info make contact with FDLE Fort Myers at (800)-407-4880.
FOX4’s Chris Earl also assisted with this report.