West Philadelphia Man Charged With String of Real Estate Scams
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By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 42-year-old man is facing dozens of counts related to various real estate scams that allegedly cheated victims out of money and a roof over their heads.
Philadelphia prosecutor Matthew Perks says defendant Dwayne Stewart forged and faked documents to illegally transfer several houses and vacant lots to his own ownership, sold properties he didn’t own, and collected rents in fraudulent deals.
“Three or four of them actually had no property to move into,” Perks says. “It’s as if Dwayne Stewart was renting them the Brooklyn Bridge and when they showed up, they found he didn’t have anything to do with the Brooklyn Bridge. They never got possession, and they never got leases to sign. And all they had was the bad parts: they paid the rent and security deposits, and got nothing in return.”
Perks says 16 victims lost a total of more than $100,000.
Authorities say Stewart, of the 4900 block of Chestnut Street, is a convicted sex offender and was already in custody resulting from a reporting violation under Megan’s Law and was also a fugitive in a Buck County theft case.