Prosecutor charges group with home fraud in Marion County
13 Investigates has learned the dream of becoming a homeowner has turned into a nightmare for some people. Now, the Marion County prosecutor is bringing charges for home fraud.
Beverly Cannedy and Shela Amos allegedly sold dreams and honest, hard-working families were anxious to buy.
"Some friends bought a house and told me TMJ Foundation was selling cheap houses," said one victim, "Joe."
He contacted Amos at TMJ Youth Foundation.
"I paid $8,000 and $5,000 to fix the house. Almost $14,000," the victim said.
Joe moved in and did repairs. But his title never came and soon, he learned Cannedy, Amos and others were charged with fraud in three separate investigations.
"We bought the house, put love into the house and now we don't have nothing. Now our dream is gone," Joe said.
The charges filed by the prosecutor cover multiple cases. Joe says he knows of about 30 other Latino families in the same situation.
Another victim, who we'll call "John" says Amos, "said she tried to get properties some different ways from what realtors do."
John found out he didn't own his house when the sheriff evicted him, even though he paid TMJ $14,000. He got official-looking papers with a gold seal, a phony $1 bill attached to them and a document signed by President James Monroe.
"Right now, I don't have a place to sleep. It's a horrible thing when somebody takes money from you and you trust the person, that hurts you a lot, especially when you have kids," John said.
Others have felt that hurt, too. Through a translator, "Mary" told us she "thinks they are criminals. They have to be in jail."
All the victims wished to remain anonymous. They fear retribution from the targets of the investigation.
The charges brought so far do not involve the three victims who spoke to Eyewitness News. They have not all filed police reports. The Marion County prosecutor says anyone with a similar problem should call the prosecutor's office.