Fort Lauderdale duo arrested for allegedly scamming $1M for non-existent townhome project

Dennis Jones and Woodward Warren are charged with multiple felonies, including money laundering and grand theft

Non-existent Townhome Project In Davie Was Alleged $1M Scam
Dennis Jones and a screenshot of the fake “Falls of Davie” townhome project website

A pair of Fort Lauderdale residents allegedly came up with a simple scheme to enrich themselves by pretending to be townhome developers in Davie

On Wednesday, the Davie Police Department arrested Dennis Jones, 52, and Woodward Warren, 56, on multiple felony charges, including grand theft, money laundering and fraud. The duo allegedly scammed $1 million from multiple victims who put down deposits for pre-construction townhomes in a proposed development called Falls of Davie, according to their arrest warrants.

It turns out that Falls of Davie only existed on fake signs and a fake website that Jones and Warren allegedly used to entice prospective buyers to purchase one of their 10 proposed units at prices starting at $1.3 million, the warrants state. They claimed to be partners in a company called Omni Development. 

The website, which is still up, advertised Falls of Davie as a “beautiful 10-Townhome Community” that was a five-minute drive from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in “very desirable Broward County.” The fake project is also listed on Zillow and other residential real estate listing websites. 

Each Falls of Davie unit would span 3,600 square feet, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the website states. The townhomes also would have features such as sundecks, private pools, summer kitchens and two-car garages with frosted glass windows. 

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Jones and Warren allegedly made it all up, the warrants state. Neither of them owns the property, and they were not under contract to purchase the land at 5650 West Davie Road, where Falls of Davie was allegedly being developed. Jones and Warren also had not applied for site plan application or permits to build on the site, the warrants state. 

Davie Police investigators opened a criminal probe after a Pennsylvania woman filed a complaint against Jones and Warren, the warrants state. The victim allegedly sent the pair a $320,000 deposit and signed a purchase contract. But she grew suspicious when she subsequently met with them in person in Fort Lauderdale, and they were unable to produce any permits or approvals from the town of Davie. 

During the investigation, detectives found that Jones and Warren collected at least $1 million in deposits, spending most of it on food, entertainment and bills, including $250,000 that investigators believe was used to pay restitution to a victim of an unrelated fraud case. 

Jones and Warren are the latest alleged hucksters to get caught in a South Florida real estate scam. Last month, four Miami men were indicted on federal fraud charges for fraudulently obtaining a construction contract valued between $5 million and $10 million with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. 

In September, authorities arrested Ben Dvir, a former condominium association president at Blue, a residential tower in Miami, for grand theft. Dvir allegedly pocketed $33,000 from inflated invoices for tiles sold to the condo association, an arrest affidavit states. 

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