State Accuses 5 of|Real Estate Scams

     FORT LAUDERDALE (CN) – Five men used 12 businesses to rip off distressed homeowners for tens of thousands of dollars, the Florida attorney general claims in court.
     The five human defendants – Edward Cherry, Lawrence Diodato, Paul Gellenbeck, Shane Frankovic, and Anthony C. Pintsopoulos – are accused of a welter of scams.
     Defendant Edward Cherry, who filed for bankruptcy, is not an attorney but “devised or otherwise originated the quiet title scheme that is central to the defendants’ acts and practices,” the attorney general says.
     Since Jan. 1, 2011, the state says, the men have made “false promises and misrepresentations to consumers in order to induce consumers (a) to transfer title to their homes to defendants for NO consideration, (b) to pay defendants thousands of dollars in advance fees for services defendants cannot deliver, and (c) to sign a promissory note to defendants or their nominee for approximately 80 percent of the home’s current fair market value which note is secured by a mortgage in favor of the defendants. Defendants’ unfair, deceptive and/or unconscionable acts and practices include but are not limited to the following:
     “a. Guaranteeing that defendants will avoid the homeowner’s ‘upside down mortgage’ through actions pursuant to Chapter 65m Florida Statutes, so that at the end of a 120 day process the homeowner will have equity in the home;
     “b. Misrepresenting to homeowners that an assignment of mortgage is not good or effectual in law or equity against creditors or any subsequent purchasers unless the assignment of mortgage is recorded;
     “c. Misrepresenting to homeowners that the homeowner’s mortgage is not enforceable against the defendants as a subsequent for a valuable consideration, notwithstanding the fact that defendants do not pay any consideration to the homeowner for the deed transfer of title; and
     “d. Misrepresenting to consumers that the defendants (or their nominees) are bona fide transferees for value of the title of the mortgagors (the homeowners) so that the mortgagees’ failure to record their assignments of mortgage under Chapter 701 voids the homeowners’ mortgages.”
     Cherry used the alias “Edward Tudor” to organize some of his companies, the state says.
     Using the alias Edward C. Tudor, he organized defendants The Fidelity Land Trust Co. LLC, Growth Capital Funding LLC, and using his real name he organized defendant LLC, according to the complaint. He also manages or controls defendants August Belmont and Company LLC, and Esquire Litigation Support LLC.
     Cherry’s Fidelity company received a cease-and-desist demand from Fidelity National Financial.
     Here are the defendants: Edward Cherry; Lawrence Diodato; Paul Gellenbeck; Shane Frankovic; Anthony C. Pintsopoulos; The Fidelity Land Trust Co. LLC; The Sunshine State Land Trust Co. LLC; Florida Land Trust Services LLC; Growth Capital Funding LLC; Zion Partners Irrevocable Trust LLC; Zion Partners Irrev Trust LLC; August Belmont and Company LLC; Esquire Litigation Support LLC; LLC; Click Media Consulting LLC dba Florida Home Rescue Mission; and American Federal Trust LLC.The state seeks an injunction, restitution, penalties for deceptive and unfair trade, and costs.

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