Two people were arrested in connection with an $8 million rental fraud scheme that involved dozens of victims in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties, authorities said Monday.
Robert Allen Tribble Jr., 50, of Jupiter filed fraudulent quit-claim and warranty deeds to take control of homes in foreclosure, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a news release.
He allegedly advertised the homes under rental or “lease to purchase” arrangements, collecting deposits that ranged from $2,500 to $20,000 from unsuspecting renters and buyers, the FDLE said. Tribble also collected rental or mortgage payments from the victims, who believed that he owned the properties, the agency said.
Accomplice Mary Revoller-Chavez, 45, lived with Tribble at 17088 Randolph Siding Road in Jupiter and helped him with the scheme, according to the FDLE.
In all, investigators believed that Tribble fraudently obtained 35 properties that had a taxable value of about $7.5 million, the FDLE said. Over 50 victims had losses of over $8 million, it added.
Tribble was arrested Monday morning at the Martin County courthouse and is charged with one count each of organized scheme to defraud, money laundering and obstructing justice, and 14 counts of criminal use of personal identification, the FDLE said.
Revoller-Chavez was arrested at their home and is charged with one count each of organized scheme to defraud and money laundering, and three counts of criminal use of personal identification, the agency said.
Both were booked into the Martin County Jail. It wasn’t immediately known whether they have attorneys.
The FDLE said it carried out a four-month investigation, assisted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Martin, Palm Beach and Broward County sheriff’s offices and Jupiter and Fort Lauderdale Police. The Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.