PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) have arrested 37-year-old Michael Bogsted after a complex investigation that determined Bogsted was creating fraudulent deeds in an attempt to make financial gain.
According to detectives, their investigation began in January of 2019 after ECU detectives received information about fraudulent activity. Bogsted is a self-employed licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida.
Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives learned Bogsted targeted at least six properties going to tax auctions that appeared to be abandoned or were owned by homeowners that could not afford to pay taxes on the property.
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Detectives say Bogsted would create fraudulent deeds, fictitious release of mortgages, and satisfaction of mortgages by forging signatures and utilizing fictitious notary stamps. Bogsted would electronically file fictitious deeds via an online real estate transaction website, transferring ownership to various entities in order to obtain control of the property on paper.
According to detectives, Bogsted would then sell the property to an unsuspecting third party or take a mortgage out on the property.
On January 24, 2023, detectives located Bogsted at his residence in Plant City and took him into custody. Bogsted was charged with Scheme to Defraud and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail.