MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach police officers arrested Jeremy Antonio Rivera for engaging in a systematic ongoing scheme by acting as a realtor and scamming victims into making payments for three different apartments, authorities said.
According to police, Rivera was a previous tenant for an apartment unit at 934 Meridian Ave and he utilized a real estate agent to rent out the unit by providing a fictitious New York state driver license belonging to “Christian Vega” with his photo for the rental application.
Rivera stopped making payments on the apartment, police said.
Between Oct. 18, 2021, and Oct. 19, 2021, Rivera met with a total of three victims at his apartment, which they all saw listed on Facebook Marketplace, police said.
Rivera identified himself to the victims as the realtor/prospective landlord and showed the victims the apartment, had them sign a contract to lease agreement, and collected a total of $10,350 from the victims, according to investigators.
Police said after Rivera provided the victims with a move-in date, he stopped answering the phone calls and deleted the Facebook Marketplace advertisement.
Between Jan. 6, 2022, and Jan. 14, 2022, police said Rivera again acted as a realtor/ prospective landlord under the name Joseph Russo for Palmen Realty and showed a total of seven victims an apartment located at 1352 Euclid Ave.
After Rivera showed the apartment to the victims, he requested to meet with another male at an office building located at 1111 Lincoln Road, authorities said. When the victims arrived to the address, an unknown male provided the victims with a contract to lease agreement and collected a total of $10,450 in cash, police said.
Rivera provided the victims with a move-in date, stopped answering the phone calls, and deleted the Facebook Marketplace ad, according to investigators.
Police reported that Between Jan. 28, 2022 and Feb. 2, 2022, Rivera posted again under a different name, Keith Mayer, for another apartment rental located at 3710 Collins Ave.
Authorities said an unknown female showed the victims the apartment and redirected the victims to an office building at the Lincoln Road address, where the victims met with Rivera.
He collected a total of $9,450 in cash and provided the victims with a move-in date before he stopped answering the phone and deleted the Facebook Marketplace advertisement yet again, police said.
A total of 15 victims were affected by Rivera’s actions and a total loss of $30,250 was reported, according to authorities.
According to the police report, Rivera is facing charges of:
- 15 counts of $20,000 or less organized fraud
- 15 counts of fraudulent info use identification
- 1 count of possession of a stolen fictitious drivers license
- 15 counts of unlawful use of a communication device