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South Florida Pair Arrested in Bank Fraud Scheme

Authorities have apprehended two bank fraud suspects who reportedly owned $17 million worth of property in Florida and New York, then victimized tenants and residents who lived there.

Issak Almaleh, 63-years old and Antoaneta Lotova, 51-years old were arrested in Hollywood on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and other offenses.  The Sun-Sentinel reported the two chose properties in foreclosure that were owned by FDIC-insured banks.  Authorities say they filed fraudulent and forged warranty deeds to show the transfer of those properties to corporations they controlled.

Almaleh, who was a notary, would notarize the documents as genuinely signed by representatives of the financial institutions and Iotova would sign the documents on behalf of the companies they controlled, officials said. This allowed them (with the help of police) to evict residents from their home and change the locks on the properties.  The tenants were informed by the bank that their lease agreements were invalid and that they needed to vacate the property, officials said.

The two remain in jail.

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