(INDIANAPOLIS) - Four people have been charged in a real estate fraud scheme involving bad checks and renting out homes already in foreclosure.
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office filed charges Tuesday in connection with three separate cases in which suspects are accused of taking possession of homes that they did not own, and then renting them out for profit, Call 6 Investigator Rafael Sanchez reported.
Shela Amos and Beverly Cannedy, who both worked with the Tertius Malachi & James Youth Foundation, claimed to own six homes and collected $19,000 from victims they purported to sell or rent the homes, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Both Amos and Cannedy identified themselves as so-called sovereign citizens, a growing group of people who consider themselves exempt from obeying state and federal laws.
Amos and Cannedy are each charged with two counts of corrupt business influence, two counts of burglary, six counts of forgery and six counts of theft.
The second case Willie Hawkins, the former head of the Budget Property Group, who took possession of homes in foreclosure without the owners' consent, according to the affidavit.
Hawkins rented out the homes and told his victims that he would negotiate with the banks to help them purchase the homes, although he never contacted the banks, investigators said.
Seven people paid Hawkins nearly $40,000 as part of the scheme involving seven properties, according to the affidavit.
Hawkins is charged with corrupt business influence, two counts of burglary, 10 counts of theft and three counts of evasion of tax.
The third case involves Wendell Brown, also known as Menes Ankh-El, who produced fake deeds and claimed ownership of homes that were vacant, including one he was found living in, investigators said.
Brown is charged with five counts of forgery, one count of theft and five counts of intimidation.
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