YOUNGSTOWN — A federal grand jury indicted a city man for obtaining ownership of more than two dozen properties that were classified as distressed and selling them for more than $1 million over a period of almost two years.
A news release from Steven M. Dettelbach, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said that Ondrea Shabazz, 47, faces a 59-count indictment on charges of real estate fraud, identity fraud and mail fraud.
The indictment was handed down Wednesday.
The indictment alleges that Shabazz found properties that were either foreclosed or scheduled for demolition, made fake quit-claim deeds, in some instances forged a notary’s signature and the names of the property owners on the deeds, and transferred them to a real-estate company he created or to other companies affiliated with him.
After submitting the paperwork to the either the Mahoning County Recorder’s or Auditor’s offices, he would have the deeds mailed back to him.
He would then resell the property under the false assumption that he was the owner, according to the news release.
The release also said Shabazz would stand in as an intermediary in other real-estate deals with the owners of properties and unsuspecting third parties, and he would then forge signatures of property owners or notaries, the release said.
The release said Shabazz took part in the scheme from October 2011 to June of this year.
An arraignment date has not been set yet.