Man Charged for Attempting to Sell Homes He Did Not Own
Gaetano Antonelli was charged in July 2012, with three cases of organized fraud (less than $20,000). Antonelli’s scheme involved contacting individuals who were behind on their mortgage payments and deceiving them into signing the deed to their property over to him via Power of Attorney (so he could rescue them from their mortgage). Once Antonelli fraudulently obtained the deed to the property, he would run an ad on Craigslist, attempting to sell the property that did not belong to him.
Since the original charges, other victims have become aware of Antonelli’s scheme and are filing reports with authorities.
In Hernando County, Florida, three additional victims have come forward; therefore, three additional organized fraud charges have been filed against Antonelli. In Citrus County, Florida, four potential cases were identified and reported to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
Due to the magnitude of this case and the number of victims (in at least three counties – Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus) the State Attorney’s Office Public Interest Unit in Ocala, Florida, will take over the prosecution of the case. All cases in Hernando County have been closed with an arrest.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office announced the charges.