3 charged with collecting rent on 80 homes they didn't own

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 10:57:00-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Authorities say three men took over about 80 rental homes in and fraudulently collected money from prospective tenants.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reported Monday that 46-year-old Kesner Joaseus, 36-year-old Wadno Dorneau and 54-year-old Miguel Tilus have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud. The each face up to 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and mandatory restitution on each charge.

Court documents say the men pretended to represent an actual real estate investment trust in Georgia that owns dozens of properties in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Officials say the men started to illegally take possession of the homes in November 2014 and then present interested renters with fraudulent leases in order to collect thousands of dollars in supposed rent and security deposits.

It wasn't immediately clear if the men had attorneys.