(WSVN) - Several home buyers who invested large sums of money with a company that promised to build their dream home. A dream that never came true, because they said, the developer never built any house for them and now, police are investigating.
Nancy flew into South Florida for the same reason many people do.
Nancy Turner: “We wanted to have somewhere to come in the wintertime when it gets cold.”
Nancy wanted to buy a home and found this listing for beautiful townhouses in Davie.
Nancy Turner: “I like that it was a new build and it had square footage with the pool on the back.”
Nancy contacted the company, Omni Development and Consulting services in Fort Lauderdale, and signed a contract in 2022 to buy two units; one for her and one for her daughter.
Nancy Turner: $320,000 for the down payment
In 2021, Alexander Alonso saw that Omni Development was advertising townhouses on this property in Miramar.
Alexander Alonso: “Oh, they were modern looking. Three story townhomes, family oriented.”
Alexander put down $64,000 and started waiting.
Alexander Alonso: “They always put me off, put me off, always excuses.”
Nancy was also waiting.
On the site of the proposed Davie development, is a nice sign about the project.
The man who says he is the president of the company, Tyler Jones, even sent Nancy a picture of himself and his so called project manager at the Davie groundbreaking. But as you can see, no shovels have touched the place.
So Nancy went to meet Jones.
Nancy Turner: “And he just kept making up excuses.”
Nancy asked for her $320,000 back and couldn’t get it. Alexander tried to get his $64,000 in life savings back and couldn’t get it.
Alexander Alonso: “They don’t respond or anything anymore. Not to emails, Not to texts, nothing.”
They both contacted local police departments and were told most cases like these are not crimes. They’re civil matters and you have to sue the developer.
Nancy Turner: “Police told us that is normal, we should give them time”
But Nancy wasn’t the only person contacting Davie police about Omni Development. Six more people told detectives they put down large deposits to buy a town house on this property.
Police went to work and what was a civil case, may now be a criminal case.
Peter Patton: “The fact that there have been such a great amount of time with no work being done whatsoever. The town has no permits pulled or anything like that. So that’s what brought it to a level of suspicion high enough for us to conduct an investigation into it.”
And as we started digging, we found red flags everywhere.
The Davie address on the ad where the houses would be built, doesn’t exist.
Omni Development doesn’t own the property after a $250,000 check they wrote to finalize the purchase, bounced.
The man who called himself Tyler Jones when he met Nancy, is actually Dennis Wendall Jones, who was recently arrested for domestic violence. Who is currently on ten years probation for grand theft after taking a persons money.
He is also on probation for 10 years after pleading no contest to several charges such as money laundering and organized fraud.
Alexander Alonso: “Oh, my gosh. So his chances of getting paid are going to be slim.”
We spoke to Jones, who he said he would return Nancy’s money in early October. He didn’t. After that, he wouldn’t return our calls.
We spoke to the man, Woodward Warren, who is listed as the manager for Omni Development Holdings.
He told us Omni has at least 10 projects they are planning. When we started asking more questions, he said, ‘Call my attorney,’ but he couldn’t remember his attorney’s name.
Nancy Turner: “Horrified. Just horrified. Upset.”
We also found three more cases of people in Fort Lauderdale who paid the Omni Development Group to build a house and didn’t get it.
Eleven people we have now discovered. Many have given up hope, but not the Davie Police.
Peter Patton: “See if there’s any way to get the money back and then see what criminal charges will apply in the future.”
And then Tuesday morning, we were in court to see Jones, wearing an Omni shirt, appear on an unrelated case.
He was surprised to find out Davie Police had issued an arrest warrant for him.
Jones was handcuffed and taken to jail, and charged with grand theft of over $100,000, money laundering and violation of probation.
Also, the the sign advertising the Omni Project in Davie has been cut down, destroyed, just like Nancy’s dreams.”
Nancy Turner: “Don’t make me cry ’cause I’ve been trying not to. But yes, but the thing is devastating.”
If convicted, Jones faces 30 years in prison.
And the people like Nancy and Alexander, who lost their lives savings, are left to hope police and the courts can help recover some of their money.
I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
CONTACT 7 INVESTIGATES:
If you given money to Omni Development and you feel like you’re a victim, call the Davie Economic Crimes Division at 954-693-8200.
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