BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies have arrested six people who they are calling “tomb raiders,” saying they fraudulently took ownership of 44 homes in Weston, Lauderhill, Tamarac and other places in the county.
Catherine Lichtman, Mircho Murdjeff, Gillian Solomon, Illya Tinker, Patricia Tinker and Darren Tinker face more than 600 felony charges that include grand theft, identity theft, organized scheme to defraud and unlawful filing of false documents, deputies said.
Detectives started their investigation when a seventh person suspected in the alleged scheme, Compton Maycock-Beckles, was arrested in 2016 on grand theft and fraud charges after he was caught living in a foreclosed home in Weston, according to the arrest report.
The original owner of the home told detectives that he did not give permission to Maycock-Beckles either to live in or sell the home.
Deputies said the six suspects operated under different company names such as Global Homebuyers, Prestige Home Buyers and Global Management Consulting Group. They used quit claim deeds and attorney authorizations to take ownership of homes, according to deputies.
Detectives said the suspects also would then sell, rent or live in the homes, or also sell the same home to more than one person and collect money from both people at the same time.
The suspects also used power of attorney to access deceased homeowners’ bank accounts and Social Security checks so it appeared as if the victims had given the six permission, according to the sheriff’s office.
Solomon and Illya, Patricia and Darren Tinker remain at the Broward County Jail on $3 million bond each. Lichtman and Murdjeff are being held at the jail on $900,000 bond each, according to jail records.
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