Pam Bondi: Odessa Women Charged in Real Estate Scam
The state attorney’s office reported a 39-year-old Central Florida woman was arrested as part of a real estate scam that crossed at least three counties and took four Floridians for at least $700,000 over two years.
Renee Manning, of Odessa, was charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Regional Operations Center, Office of Statewide Prosecution, and the Pasco County sheriff’s office, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office announced on Friday.
“I am extremely proud of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Pasco County sheriff's office for their thorough investigation into Manning's deceptive practices,” Bondi noted in an emailed statement. “I am pleased to have my Office of Statewide Prosecution bring long-deserved justice to this case. This case is another great example of strong partnerships to protect consumers from fraud.”
Investigators allege that Manning coordinated the fictitious sale of a multimillion-dollar property in Kissimmee.
According to investigators, Manning advised that she was going to broker the sale of the property to an international investor and needed to secure money for a bridge loan until the investor had arranged for financing.
The victims were led to believe that if they invested in the bridge loan they would receive their principal investment plus 30 percent within three months. The victims in this case reside in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
“Manning took advantage of everyday citizens who were simply looking for a legitimate investment opportunity,” FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey stated in a separate release. “This malicious fraud was doomed from the beginning.”
Authorities believe there may be other victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or FDLE Special Agent Sara MacKnight at 813-878-7300.