A federal judge has ordered a Wellington man to pay back $283,621 after prosecutors said he collected rent checks on scores of properties he did not own, changing lockboxes and posing as the rightful landlord.
As needed, the money must be paid through 50 percent of earnings in a prison job or 10 percent of gross earnings after release, U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg ordered this week.
Joaseus, then 46, and two other men targeted some 80 properties in Palm Beach and Broward counties, prosecutors said in early 2016. They used company names similar to an out-of-state firm that owned and renovated properties, jumping in to arrange renters first and have payment made out to them, officials said
In one example, Joaseus and associates took control of a 1,173-square-foot house on Churchill Road in West Palm Beach, according to court records. They allegedly found a tenant and collected $1,950 in security deposits, application fees and first and last month’s rent. The victim paid $900 a month until the legitimate owner informed her she was in the house illegally.
Attempts to seek comment through Joaseus’s attorneys were not successful.