Home Floridas FDLE arrests two for organized scheme to defraud

FDLE arrests two for organized scheme to defraud

FDLE arrests two for organized scheme to defraud
For Immediate Release
April 19, 2024PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested Orenthanal Bennett, 51, of Tampa, and Victoria Strickler, 48, of Babson Park, for organized scheme to defraud after uncovering a multi-year deed fraud operation.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This duo stole possession of others’ property by filing fraudulent deeds—targeting land owned by seniors suffering from dementia or property where owners had passed away. In Florida, we fight to protect our seniors and hold criminals accountable. Grateful for our law enforcement partners stopping this illicit scheme.”

FDLE Special Agent in Charge Mark Brutnell says, “Stealing from our community’s most vulnerable and those who already suffered the loss of a family member is despicable. I’m proud of the work our agents have done to make sure these people could not steal one more home and profit off of someone’s pain.”

The investigation began in February 2019 when the Pasco Sheriff’s Office contacted FDLE to work the investigation as it involved multiple jurisdictions and subjects. Upon further investigation, agents discovered that Bennett and Strickler were unlawfully taking possession of property and selling them for a profit.

The suspects would identify neglected properties, under the possession of vulnerable elderly owners or the estates of the deceased, and prepare fraudulent deeds transferring the property to the suspects. Once filed with the Clerk of Courts, the suspects would then sell the property and keep the profits, without the knowledge of the legal owners.

The scheme was carried out in multiple counties, including Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. Estimated losses total to just under $900,000.

The Brooksville Field Office of the FDLE Tampa Bay region investigated this case.

FDLE Tampa Bay agents arrested Strickler on April 17 and Bennett on April 18. Both suspects are charged with one first-degree felony charge of organized scheme to defraud over $50,000. They were transported and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail with a $50,000 bond each pending first appearance.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/705042239/fdle-arrests-two-for-organized-scheme-to-defraud

Attorney magazine

author avatar
Floridas Editor