Man arrested in sophisticated real estate scam

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jan 23, 2017

Officers in Michigan arrested a man they say scammed about $50,000 from 9 different victims in real estate fraud.

According to agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Kervin Moreno posted ads on Craigslist to sell and rent homes from 2012 to 2014 in Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties. But, according to FDLE, he did not have the authority to sell or rent any of the houses. Many of the victims only found out they were scammed after they received foreclosure notices.

Moreno, was living in the Tampa Bay Area during the commission of the crimes.

"It was horrible, the whole situation was horrible." Melissa Revis said.

Revis met Moreno in November of 2013. She was introduced to Moreno by another one of his victims who didn't realized she had been scammed. She was told Moreno could sell her house and help her buy another in the Clearwater area.

"We went to his office and signed a contract that within 5 days we had to move out for a purchase and sale." She explained.

So Revis, her husband and their 8-year-old son moved out of their home. Revis had to find a home she wanted to buy and Moreno would then facilitate the purchase.

"I had to find one that I liked." She explained. "I didn't know how the real estate business worked because I went through the builder when I bought this home."

When she found the first house she wanted to purchase she gave Moreno $1,000 to "hold the house." She was told that deal fell through, so she found another home, paid the $1,000 and moved in.

"Police came in guns drawn saying that we're in somebody's house illegally and that we need to get out immediately." She said.

Revis says she contacted Moreno several times trying to get answers. Eventually, she says he quit answering her calls and disappeared. In the meantime, he had "rented" her home to another family. She explains she had to evict that family through the courts. She says they also took off with her washer, dryer and stove. She says she and her family lived in hotels for about 5 months.

"Including hotels and expenses, (I lost) $22,000." She said.

FDLE is asking for more potential victims to come forward.