FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A man who stands accused of stealing houses from property owners in Broward County and defrauding the buyers with fraudulent deeds is facing criminal charges Wednesday.
Christine McFarland is the legitimate owner of a home she purchased in 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, but Roosevelt Permenter pretended to own it, according to detectives.
McFarland realized she had been a victim after finishing renovations and trying to rent her home. She said police officers called her to warn her about the fraud.
“There was someone saying they purchased my property,” McFarland said. “I thought it was truly a joke.”
Marty Kiar, the Broward County property appraiser, said McFarland is not the only victim of this fraud. He said the crime happens daily.
“We see it all the time because these criminals have found it’s easy to prey on the people of Broward County,” Kiar said. “What they do is they file fake deeds on people’s properties and they take the deeds and try to extort people for money, mortgage, rent, or sell their property.”
Fort Lauderdale Police Department detectives identified Permenter, 34, as the fraudster, and police officers arrested him on Tuesday. He remained at the Broward County Main Jail on Wednesday.
“I was very happy because this person cannot do it to another person,” McFarland said.
Kiar said the victims of the deed scam are usually seniors and low-income property owners. He is urging property owners to visit this page to sign up for free alerts as a preventive measure.
Permenter is facing two counts of grand theft, two counts of filing false documents, and two counts of identity fraud.