Youngstown man guilty in million dollar real estate scheme - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown man guilty in million dollar real estate scheme

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Ondrea Shabazz Ondrea Shabazz
AKRON, Ohio - The operator of a Valley real estate company has been convicted on federal charges of  real estate fraud, identification fraud and mail fraud.

47-year-old Ondrea Shabazz of Youngstown pleaded guilty on Thursday to two of the 59 counts handed up in an indictment last November.

Details of the plea agreement remain sealed.  His sentencing is set for September 3  in U.S. District Court in Akron.

According to Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland Field Office, Shabazz forged signatures to fraudulently obtain ownership of distressed, soon-to-be-demolished homes and sold them to his clients for a profit

The government said that Shabazz devised a scheme using false pretenses and promises to defraud real estate owners and others out of money and property.

Shabazz operated the Real Estate Investment Connection LLC which, according to the government, fraudulently obtained and resold distressed properties in the Youngstown area.

The indictment alleged that the company would create fraudulent deeds using forged signatures of owners or Notary Publics to obtain property that were foreclosed or targeted for demolition.

The government claims that Shabazz and others would then resell the property under false pretense that Real Estate Investment Connection legally owned the property.

In other instances, Shabazz allegedly acted as an intermediary to broker real estate transactions between property owners and an unsuspecting third party.

The indictment claims that Shabazz defrauded property owners and other out of money and property valued at more than $1 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Toepfer did not reveal names of the alleged victims, but the indictment includes redacted information for 29 deeds, owners of 27 properties, and three Notary Publics who were victims of the alleged scheme.

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