FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Sheriff's Office investigators said Tuesday they have arrested six people who stole distressed homes, including from the estates of 18 dead people.
The suspects were identified as Catherine Lichtman, Mircho Murdjeff, Gillian Solomon and three family members -- Illya Tinker, Patricia Tinker and Darren Tinker. A seventh suspect, Compton Maycock-Beckles, was arrested in 2016 on grand theft and fraud charges.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said the suspects would sell, rent or live in the homes using powers of attorney or quit claim deeds to take ownership of the properties. She said they operated under various company names, including Global Homebuyers, Prestige Home Buyers and Global Management Consulting Group.
An investigation began in June 2016 after a detective discovered that Maycock-Beckles was living in a foreclosed home that belonged to someone else. The original owner told the detective that he never gave Maycock-Beckles or his employer, Global Management Consulting Group, permission to live in or sell the Weston residence.
The detective learned several notaries had their notary stamps and signatures stolen to authorize deeds and other property transfers.
Oglesby said the suspects took ownership of 44 homes in Broward County. They are facing more than 600 felony charges, including grand theft and identity theft.