A real estate agent accused of scamming people out of their houses has been arrested for the second time in Florida.
US Marshals Service agents located Ignacio Beato on Friday (February 26) in Seminole County, seven weeks after he did not show up for a court hearing. Beato was previously arrested in Orlando in November 2015 and charged with housing fraud, forgery, and theft in Luzerne County.
According to investigators, the real estate agent took tens of thousands of dollars from Hazleton home buyers who thought they were doing legal transactions. However, Beato was providing false deeds to houses that were in fact owned by others. The victims would discover the scam shortly after, when they got evicted from the homes they thought they bought.
After his first arrest, Beato posted bail, and according to reports, fled to the Dominican Republic, where he was suspected to have “very heavy ties”. His failure to appear in court prompted the Marshals to step up their hunt.
Beato’s bail has now been revoked.
Scams like this are unfortunately still very common in the real estate industry, despite plenty of efforts for increased awareness among home buyers. If you are looking to buy property, it is crucial to make sure that transactions are legal and legitimate. Do your research, understand the details, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If a deal starts to look uncertain or questionable, or if there is anything in the details that you have trouble grasping, it is wise to consult a lawyer who is experienced in real estate.