Florida real estate broker accused of using fake deeds to sell properties he did not own

A Florida real estate broker is accused of selling properties that did not belong to him, authorities said.

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Michael Bogsted, 37, of Plant City, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with one count of scheme to defraud, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

According to a news release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Bogsted, a licensed real estate broker, allegedly targeted at least six properties that appeared headed for tax auctions because their owners could not afford to pay taxes on the real estate. Detectives said that Bogsted created fraudulent deeds, fictitious releases or mortgages and satisfaction of mortgages by forging signatures and using notary stamps.

Bogsted then allegedly used a website designed for online real estate transactions to file the fake deeds electronically, the Tampa Bay Times reported. That way, Bogsted could transfer ownership “to various entities in order to obtain control of the property on paper,” the sheriff’s office said.

Bogsted would then sell the properties to an unsuspecting third party or take out a mortgage, according to the Times.

The investigation began in 2019 by the sheriff’s office’s economic crimes unit.

Detectives said that Bogsted made at least $327,000 properties from the six properties in 2019, the Times reported. In 2019, the market value of the six properties was approximately $1,071,000, according to the newspaper.

Bogsted was arrested at his home and later posted bail of $150,000, online records show.

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