Pinellas Consumer Protection stops extensive real estate scam
April 30, 2022 - A multi-state investigation initiated by the Pinellas County Consumer Protection (PCCP) agency into a local telemarketing business uncovered an extensive real estate scam that defrauded victims in excess of $1 million. The county announced Friday that Marvin Scott of Tampa, Chamera Bowman of St. Petersburg and Tammy Van Wie of Largo were charged on April 19 with a scheme to defraud. Scott was also charged with money laundering. The three operated a series of fraudulent businesses called Nationwide Listings, Elite Property Listings Corp and Worldwide Property Listings LLC. According to a release, investigators said that between October 2017 and November 2020, the three solicited local victims and landowners from 37 states claiming to have buyers ready to purchase their properties. The defendants then charged several upfront fees without selling the property. “Consumers should continue to be cautious whenever they are solicited by telephone from individuals seeking payment for any services,” said Doug Templeton, chief investigator for the PCCP in a statement. To report a scam, call (727) 464-6200.