Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people April 22 after a multi-state investigation initiated by Pinellas County Consumer Protection uncovered a scheme to defraud operation with more than 100 victims.
Marvin Scott, 55, of Tampa, Chamera Bowman, 38, of St. Petersburg and Tammy Van Wie, 44, of Largo were booked into the county jail where they were charged with scheming to defraud, and Scott was charged with money laundering.
Bail for Bowman and Van Wie was set at $250,000 and Scott’s was $500,000.
They operated a series of businesses called Nationwide Listings, Elite Property Listings Corp and Worldwide Property Listings LLC.
Investigators say that between October 2017 and November 2020, the defendants solicited victims from 37 states who owned vacant properties claiming to have buyers ready to purchase their land. The total fraud amount associated with these defendants exceeds $1 million.
“Consumers should continue to be cautious whenever they are solicited by telephone from individuals seeking payment for any services,” said Doug Templeton, chief investigator for Pinellas County Consumer Protection. “Also, make sure you only work with licensed real estate professionals when attempting to sell real estate.”
Anyone that thinks they have been defrauded or wish to report a scam should call 727-464-6200 or file a complaint at https://aca-prod.accela.com/pinellas/Default.aspx.
Revised to add link to file an online complaint.