I-Team: Woman loses home after alleged fraudulent quit claim deeds filed
11:33 PM, Aug 15, 2013
9:39 AM, Aug 16, 2013
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - An elderly Hillsborough County woman has been put out of the home she's owned most of her life.
Family members believe foul play, involving her own great grandson, was involved.
They believe he and others prepared fraudulent deeds, which were filed with the county clerk's office, in order to sell her house.
Agaree Young, 94, returned to her family home place on Bethune Drive in Thonotosassa on a recent morning, with some help from her gray-haired grandsons.
She is no longer able to go inside it.
Young's son Ransom Peterman, Sr. also arrived, with 80 years of happy memories.
Almost all of them were made inside the small home.
"Every Christmas, Every Thanksgiving, Every Fourth of July. Every major holiday, they'd come here and eat," Peterman said.
When asked what the house means to his mother, he replied, "Everything she can remember. "
But Young doesn't remember much these days.
She has been diagnosed with dementia, and has alternated between staying with family members and having them stay with her.
When her memory started to fail six years ago, records show her family arranged for Young to add her son Ransom's name to her deed.
Even though Young has also given one of her grandsons power of attorney over her financial affairs, new "quit claim deeds" filed with the Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts Office seem to indicate that both she and her son Ransom gave the house to Young's great-grandson Centanial Colston in May.
The signatures on the new deeds look drastically different from the signatures on the document Young and Peterman signed in 2007.
Peterman said he never signed the quit claim deeds and never met the notary or witnesses named in the document.
Records reveal Colston, a convicted drug dealer who family members say doesn't have a job, sold the home the day after the property was supposedly transferred to him to Tampa real estate guru Kenny Rushing.
Rushing invented a home buying program he calls "House Hustling".
In promotional videos posted on YouTube, Rushing claims to have bought and resold more than a thousand properties.
"I don't even look at the houses before I close on them. I'm that good," Rushing brags in one of his videos.
Rushing is driven by a chauffeur in a Bentley.
ABC Action News reporter Adam Walser saw him arrive at his office in a Mercedes Benz.
Family members say it wasn't a Benz, but a bus filled with strangers that showed up at Young's house after the sale.
"People are working in the yard and in and out of the house. And the doors were all opened up," said Greg Peterman, who was driving his grandmother back to her home earlier this summer only to discover it had been sold.
Inside, everything had been hauled away.
Grandsons say they confronted Rushing, but they say he told them he bought it fair and square and had no reason to believe it was anything but a legitimate deal.
"It's a hard feeling when I came out here and found all her stuff out here in the garage and on the porch," said Ransom Peterman.
"I can't believe that, because I haven't done nothing to nobody," Young said.
We tried to track down Young's great-grandson Centanial Colston, but he wasn't at his home when we dropped by and he never called us back.
In a text message, he refused to do an interview.
We also tried to talk to the notary who swore she witnessed young and her son sign the deeds, but she failed to return numerous calls.
Rushing didn't want to talk on camera either, but he told the I-Team that he is the real victim.
Family members say Rushing only paid $3,000 for the home so far, since Colston couldn't get his grandfather and great grandmother to sign documents at the closing.
"To me, he not only is aware of the situation, but he actually is taking advantage of a bad situation by making it worse," said Ransom Peterman, Jr., Young's grandson.
Meanwhile, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
The people who long lived in the house remain locked out.
"This house belonged to me. Why would anybody take my house?" said Young.
Rushing says that if investigators determine fraud occurred, he will deed the house back over to Young.
He says he will also sue the party or parties responsible for selling him the property, so he can get his money back.