DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Broward County deputies took a Port St. Lucie woman into custody Wednesday on multiple felony charges after they accused her of swindling two people out of a property they jointly inherited, selling the property and profiting more than $200,000 on the deal.
Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives working out of Deerfield Beach investigated the case against Zeffreyniece Coleman, which dates back to November 2022. One of the victims was 80 years old with whom she was in a “position of trust,” they allege.
Coleman is accused of claiming association with a charitable organization and offering to provide financial assistance to one of the victims in order to resolve overdue property taxes, but deputies said she instead stole the property through deed fraud.
According to a report filed prior to her arrest, Coleman, 34, initially obtained a quitclaim deed for the property with a forged signature from one of the heirs, which gave her partial ownership.
Detectives wrote that due to probate issues related to the other heir’s estate, the deed wasn’t immediately recorded.
Coleman then submitted further forged documents to the probate court and claimed full ownership of the property. A judge then awarded her 100% interest in the property without the heirs’ knowledge or consent, deputies said.
Authorities alleged that Coleman used the forged seal of a Miami notary public on at least one of the documents. The witnesses were Coleman’s boyfriend and father.
She would later sell the property for $235,000, coming away with more than $201,000 after remaining liens and fees were paid, deputies said.
Coleman pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges Thursday, including counts of communications fraud, grand theft, filing false documents and perjury.
According to jail records, she remained in custody at the BSO Main Jail Thursday morning on a $55,000 bond.