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How the FDLE says a 20-year-old woman collected from 11 Lee County properties she didn't own

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Posted at 10:53 AM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 10:53:37-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Tabria Josey, 20, is facing seven different felony counts, from scheme to defraud to grand theft, money laundering, communications fraud and aggravated white-collar crime. This comes from a 58-page affidavit from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that detailed 21 different real estate schemes in Florida – and 11 of them happened in Lee County. She is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail.

According to the FDLE, Josey created seven different title companies between November 2020 and April 2022: Cedar Hawk Title, Forest Title, Brookefield National Title, Zeek Title, Lotus National Title, Lotus National Title and Escrow and Fidelity National Title and Insurance.

She also created several fake names for title agents, including “Victoria Lansen”, “Sabrina Grant”, “Lindsey Mills”, “Briana Mills”, “Kayla Mitchells” and “Melissa Fletcher”. The FDLE claims Josey also created websites, Facebook accounts and email addresses, even LinkedIn profiles for the fake companies and title agents.

How It Worked: Investigators say Josey would list properties on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, ForSaleBuyOwner.com, Realtor.com and Facebook Marketplace. They would come with a phone number or e-mail contact that Josey managed. When a buyer would reach out, they would speak to Josey and negotiate terms of a sale.

Josey would then move to electronic document applications, like DocuSign, HelloSign and AppFiles, to complete the deals. She would then request earnest money, which is common in real estate deals, and would provide wiring instructions to a Wells Fargo account. Only Wells Fargo was only a “pass through” as the money would go into a Stripe account.

After receiving the earnest money payments, Josey would cut off all communication with the buyer.

Of the 21 properties FDLE alleges Josey’s involvement with, we looked at the eleven from Lee County. In total, investigators say that Josey defrauded people out of $141,295 in these earnest payments from Lee County alone.

Property #2, Lehigh Acres. April 13, 2021 to June 9, 2021. A victim tries to purchase a property for her daughter through Facebook Marketplace, for sale by an “Angela Duggan” (one of Josey’s aliases). The first victim wired $2,500, which was the start of numerous victims for this one property. Another wired $5,000 on May 11, 2021. A third victim wired $2,500 on June 7, 2021. Two others sent $3,000 more for a total of $13,000 in “earnest money” from five victims and an attempt to defraud another person.

Property #3, Lehigh Acres. July 28, 2021. Victim wired $2,500.

Property #5, Lehigh Acres. August 18, 2021 to August 23, 2021. Three victims wired in a total of $11,700 to try and “buy” this property.

Property #6, Lehigh Acres. September 1, 2021 to September 24, 2021. Five more victims, this time for a total of $23,500 to “purchase” this property.

Property #8, Lehigh Acres. October 6, 2021 to October 22, 2021. Five victims in total for this property for a total of $22,445.

Property #9, Lehigh Acres. October 22, 2021. Property listed on Zillow. One victim for $4,500.

Property #10, Lehigh Acres. October 22, 2021. One victim sent $6,400. Also the time when investigators tracked more than $21,000 going from Josey’s Stripe account (where the earnest money payments would go) into her personal bank account.

Property #12, Lehigh Acres. November 23, 2021. One victim for $5,500.

Property #18, Bonita Springs. February 2, 2022. For this property, prosecutors say Josey took two different victims for $14,000 in total.

Property #19, Lehigh Acres. February 7, 2022 to February 15, 2022. One victim for $12,750.

Property #21, Bonita Springs. April 11, 2022 to April 12, 2022. One victim for $25,000.