Treasure Coast -: A con man has been sentenced to six years in prison for defrauding 40 people out of over $300,000 in down payments for properties he didn’t own.
Tabria Josey, along with an accomplice, falsely advertised undeveloped land with potential for homebuilding or investment in various counties including Lee, Indian River, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach.
Josey pleaded guilty and was convicted of multiple charges, including organized fraud, grand theft, aggravated white-collar crime, money laundering, and communications fraud.
The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution (OSP) handled the case, filing it in Lee County where most of the victims and properties were located.
According to Attorney General Ashley Moody, the fraudsters gained the trust of potential buyers, who were then coerced into making substantial down payments before all contact was cut off. The OSP successfully dismantled the operation and secured restitution for the victims.
The pair posed as listing agents, sellers, or representatives of a fictional title company, and listed the properties for sale on various websites, despite not owning them. When potential buyers expressed interest, Josey and his accomplice convinced them to wire money for a down payment and subsequently disappeared.
The victims were charged between $2,500 and $7,500, although some lost as much as $15,000 to $25,000. The Attorney General’s Office plans to return over $300,000 in restitution to the individual victims affected by the scheme.
After serving his six-year prison sentence, Josey will be placed on nine years of probation. The case against his co-conspirator is still pending.