TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A man who bought three Toledo properties to flip wants to know how someone could have stolen them and sold them without his consent.
Anthony Carrera lives in Wisconsin but bought the Toledo properties on Cumberland, Freeman and Tecumseh at auction last year for $100 each. As he was fixing up the Freeman property, Carrera posted all three on Craig's List.
That's when he was contacted by a John Papadopoulos from New York. Carrera tells WTOL 11 that the two never reached a deal but all three of the properties had been transferred into Papadopoulos' name.
"It shocks me. It's easier to steal a house than it is a car," Carrera said. "He had just taken it, put them in his name, resold them as if they were his."
Lucas County Recorder Jeanine Perry said her office switched the deeds to Papadopoulos in December since they received the original documents, Carrera's and Papadopoulos' signatures and the seal of a notary in Indiana.
Carrera called the state of Indiana and was told the name of the notary used did not exist. Carrera called police and the FBI. Detectives tell us the paperwork submitted to the county for the transfer was all forged including the signatures and notary seal.
"These were properly notarized with the seal and the stamp. We can't police. We don't have a crystal ball," Perry said.
Perry did tell WTOL 11 that her office did have Carrera's real signature on file due to a previous quit claim deed. She says they were not compared and identifications were never checked.
"We could check an ID but someone who would go to this extreme would have a false ID," Perry said.
Perry says her office procedures follow state code but regrets that something like this was able to occur.
She says this is the third time this has happened in the last 11 years. In 2008, Larry Meeks and a codefendant was sentenced to a year behind bars for forging documents leading to a transfer in deed for an Oregon property.
Perry said they were caught since her office is installed with security cameras.
Carrera is now forced to work this out through the court system.
Papadopoulos made nearly $6,000 after selling all three properties on eBay in March. He could face criminal charges if police catch him.
Detectives tell WTOL 11 that they still don't know who Papadopoulos is because none of his information is real. They say John Papadopoulos may not even be his real name.
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