South Florida family charged with selling homes they didn’t own, leaving nurse living out of car

(WSVN) - A South Florida Family is accused of renting and selling homes they didn’t own. And now one nurse is homeless. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

Brian Entin: “Ms. Tinker, will the victims ever get paid back?”

Patricia Tinker didn’t turn around to acknowledge my question.

She lives in a Lauderhill house with her husband Illya Tinker and their son Darren Tinker.

The three of them are out of jail on bond.

Detectives say the family and their associates stole more than $12 million by selling homes they never really owned.

Joet Blair, thought she bought home: “I saved all my money. That’s my life savings. I have no money left. No money. I need my money.”

Joet Blair is a nursing assistant who works 12-hour shifts at a hospital. She also works part-time at a nursing home.

She says, because of the Tinkers, she now lives in her car.

Joet Blair: “I will put my pillow here, and this is how I lay down, and I sleep like this. By 5 o’clock, I have to get up.”

Joet’s housing nightmare started when she was referred to the Tinker’s business Global Management Consulting Group for help buying a house.

She says she gave them $37,000 for a down payment on this home and paid them $1,000 a month thinking it was a mortgage payment.

Brian Entin: “Did you think this all looked professional?”

Joet Blair: “I thought it was! I really thought it was professional!”

Joet was in the house for about a year, but after returning from a family member’s funeral in Jamaica, she came home to this.

All of her furniture and possessions were on the front lawn.

The real owners, who bought the house legally, evicted her.

She says the Tinkers avoided her calls and wouldn’t answer the door at their office.

Joet Blair: “I said, ‘OK, well, if you don’t come out, I’m going to call the police. I’m going to call Channel 7.'”

What the Tinkers didn’t know then is they were already under investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

They were arrested in May on 353 charges, ranging from aggravated white collar crime to grand theft.

Detectives called them “tomb raiders” and say they stole homes from the estates of dead people, and then forged fake documents for fraudulent resales.

There are dozens of victims, including Joet’s sister.

Jeanette Blair, thought she bought home: “Me and my twin sister, you know, we come from Jamaica, try to live the American dream. Decent citizens. Never get arrested. We try to own a home. I work three jobs, two part-time jobs and I work at the hospital 12 hours.”

Jeannette is still in the home she thought she bought, but records don’t show her name on the deed.

She’s worried she’ll end up homeless like her sister.

Jeanette Blair: “I don’t know if somebody is going to come there and tell me it’s time to go.”

Brian Entin: “What do you have to say to the people who bought these houses, or thought they bought them and were left with nothing?”

Herbert E. Walker III, attorney: “Well, you know, it’s terrible. Anytime you invest money in something, and you don’t get what you want, that’s a tragedy.”

The Tinkers’ attorney says these were business transactions that didn’t go well, but insists his clients did not break the law.

Herbert E. Walker III: “My clients, the Tinkers, are innocent of any criminal wrongdoing. Absolutely no criminal animus or intent on their part, either at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of this real estate, if you would, disaster.”

Brian Entin: “This is the Tinkers’ old office, now shutdown and empty. Their criminal cases are ongoing, and they have pled not guilty to the charges. Meanwhile, the twin sisters say they’re not sure they’ll ever get their money back.”

Here are a few things to do before buying a house:

For more home-buying tips, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

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