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Miami Herald investigation: Dubious deeds used to scoop up Miami-Dade properties

By Scott Hiaasen and Jenny Staletovich

Scavenging the remnants of South Florida’s housing crisis, a partnership called Presscott Rosche appeared to gobble up almost three dozen foreclosed homes in Miami-Dade County last year. The company is currently listed as the owner of 12 homes worth about $3.5 million, according to the Miami-Dade property appraiser.

But this seemingly thriving business is, in many ways, an illusion. The name of the company’s agent listed in state records is fake. So are many of the deeds the company has filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court to stake its claim to more than 30 houses and condos, a Miami Herald investigation has found.

The company has gained control of these homes — renting them out to unsuspecting tenants, in some cases — by filing dubious deeds and documents filled with legal-sounding jargon and shoddy punctuation. The author of many of these documents calls himself an “attorney in fact,” though he is not, in fact, a licensed attorney in Florida.

“I never saw anything like that. It wasn’t even spelled right,” said Shelley Hallen, an actual attorney who beat back Presscott Rosche’s efforts to evict four college students from a Coral Gables house last fall.

“They’re brazen,” said Frank Lopez, who says he found three people from Presscott Rosche inside a $700,000 Kendall house he owns. “They forged my signature, forged my wife’s signature.”

Despite complaints about the company, Presscott Rosche has managed to vex police and prosecutors: A Presscott Rosche associate was arrested for burglary in November for allegedly breaking into a vacant home, yet Miami-Dade prosecutors dropped the case, saying they couldn’t prove the man didn’t have permission to use the house.

Miami-Dade police detectives are continuing to investigate the company for possible fraud, The Herald has learned. Presscott Rosche representatives declined to comment or could not be reached.

More here.

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No More Rick Scott

Rick Scott's Columbia/HCA record on healthcare:

-Columbia billed Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Department's TRICARE health care program, and the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program for lab tests that were not medically necessary or not ordered by physicians;

-The company attached false diagnosis codes to patient records in order to increase reimbursement to the hospitals;

-The company illegally claimed non-reimbursable marketing and advertising costs as community education;

-Columbia billed the government for home health care visits for patients who did not qualify to receive them.

No More Rick Scott

After Scott stepped down Frist Jr. returned as chairman and CEO. He called on longtime friend and colleague Jack O. Bovender, Jr. to help him turn things around. Frist and Bovender, who became CEO in 2001, pulled off what Fortune Magazine called a remarkable corporate rescue.

No More Rick Scott

Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Rick Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO.[9] He was paid a settlement of $9.88 million, and left with 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million, mostly from his initial investment.

The Donald

Rick Scott: You're fired!

Can't take anymore

NoMo, thanks for pointing out that Rick Scott is a far more successful crook than these small time criminals perpetrating this real estate swindle. The difference in the scope of the crimes is that Scott rode his into the governor's mansion but these bozos will ride theirs in to a large stone fortress owned by the Dept of Corrections. The lesson is don't settle for chicken feed when you can grab the whole chicken.

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