Investigation reveals quit claim deed fraud

Posted at 8:31 AM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 18:36:39-04

“It's about to go,” said Eddie Evans, describing the home he grew up in.

Someone has swooped in and taken over the deed, transferring the house to someone named “James Davis” who Evans never met.

Davis' name showed up on three recent quit claim deeds, including one convicted felon Early Coney Jr. showed to police when a homeowner reported he was in her Seminole Heights home.

Coney claimed to work for Davis, but police were unable to locate Davis.

Coney was also named in another investigation in which homeowners say he forged their signatures and put their home in his company's name.

He has not been charged in either case, but is currently under house arrest for an unrelated crime.

We found him wearing a security badge.

When we asked him about it, Coney said, “Ya'll need to talk to my lawyer. Ya'll get off of my property.” 

That property he kicked us off of? He paid nothing for it, just like the 14 other houses he, his girlfriend and their companies took over with quit claim deeds.

They have since rented or sold some of them.

We found one family was paying $750 per month for a property Coney originally acquired by quit claim deed.

Those renters were completely unaware of how their landlord came to own the properties.

We’ll look into how easily quit claim deeds were used to take over houses in Tampa Bay and show you how to protect your home on ABC Action News at 6 p.m. tonight.