Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Career Conman Again In Hot Water, Accused Of Using Forged Deed To Score $441K In Refinancing Proceeds Secured By One Victim's Home, Falling Short In Similar Effort Involving $250K Loan Against Another Homeowner's Property

In Miami, Florida, the Miami Herald reports:
  • In his most infamous scam, longtime con man George French Jones targeted wealthy celebrities and sports figures, promising them Miami Heat courtside season tickets during the height of the LeBron James era.

    Now, Jones is back in Florida facing charges in an audacious new enterprise: declaring himself the owner of other people’s luxury real estate.

    Posing as a high roller, police say, Jones used phony documents to try to gain ownership of a high-end South Beach condo while at the same time trying to take out a $250,000 loan against the property. He’s also facing a second criminal case, accused of impersonating a condo owner to secure a $441,000 loan against the woman’s posh Brickell home.

    In two other cases, civil lawyers allege Jones pulled similar scams — using phony driver licenses and court documents — to gain control of a beachfront Fort Lauderdale condo, as well as a mansion in the Cocoplum neighborhood of Coral Gables.
    It was in February that he began text messaging his neighbor, a high-end real estate agent named Linette Guerra, inquiring about buying her unit next door to where he lived.

    In a series of messages released by prosecutors, he casually offered $2.5 million for the unit while playing up a playboy lifestyle. In one text, he bragged that his girlfriend was “having too much fun at Ultra,” the popular Miami electronic music festival. In another, he apologized for taking too long to return a text. “Just woke up rock star evening,” he wrote.

    What Guerra did not know was that Jones was using her company’s name on documents to try to get the $250,000 loan against her own property, detectives said. When confronted by police, Jones acknowledged his “extensive white-collar criminal past” and numerous companies but refused to talk about the loan, according to an arrest report.

    Jones didn’t actually get the loan money wired to him.

    But in the case of Ana Marzal de Bolivar, the owner of a condo at Brickell Icon, lawyers say he succeeded in getting hundreds of thousands of dollars sent to him as a loan against her property in late 2015. According to court documents, Jones filed a phony deed giving himself control of the property, then got the $441,000 loan by signing his own name and Bolivar’s.

    Her attorneys, Henry Bell and Manny Reboso, won a suit against Jones and one of his companies, which never replied to the legal action. The lawyers also complained to police, who are now looking to arrest Jones.

    “Ms. Bolivar, like many other individuals, has been defrauded by George French Jones,” said Reboso, of Lagos & Priovolos. “We are confident that he will ultimately be held accountable for his criminal acts.”