The Real Deal Miami

Wellington man catches 11 year sentence for real estate fraud

Scam involved a holding company that closely resembled the real owner's name
April 02, 2017 02:00PM

A house for rent

Renting properties in South Florida can be a lucrative enterprise, but one Wellington resident’s ambitions left him in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors.

Kesner Joaseus was reportedly sentenced to 11 years in prison this week after pleading guilty to two fraud cases where he rented out vacant houses that didn’t belong to him, as well as an identity theft scheme used to open credit cards and make purchases — including two Mercedes-Benz cars.

The Daily Business Review reported that Joaseus gathered more than $380,000 in rent and deposits from tenants in Broward and Palm Beach counties over the span of two years, starting in November 2014.

To pull off the scam, his group set up a limited liability company called RHA Two, which closely resembled the holding company RHA 2 used by the properties’ actual owner, real estate investment trust HavenBrook Homes. Joaseus also reportedly used for rent signs and a fake HavenBrook logo to lure tenants.

Earlier this year, Joaseus pleaded guilty to the two real estate fraud cases, according to the Daily Business Review. But he was also hit with charges for a separate scam where the 47 year old used stolen identities to open credit card accounts. He made $260,000 worth of purchases, the publication reported, including two Mercedez-Benzes.

The 11-year sentence was handed down on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg. [Daily Business Review]Sean Stewart-Muniz