Pinellas Consumer Protection uncovers multi-state real estate scam

A multi-state investigation initiated by Pinellas County Consumer Protection into a telemarketing business operating in Pinellas County has resulted in three people being charged in a scheme to defraud more than 100 victims.

Marvin Scott, Chamera Bowman and Tammy Van Wie were charged on April 19 with scheme to defraud, and Scott was also charged with money laundering. They operated a series of businesses called Nationwide Listings, Elite Property Listings Corp and Worldwide Property Listings LLC

Investigators say that between October 2017 and November 2020, the defendants solicited victims from 37 states who owned vacant properties claiming to have buyers ready to purchase their land. The total fraud amount associated with these defendants exceeds $1 million.

“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 Pinellas County Consumer Protection. “Also, make sure you only work with licensed real estate professionals when attempting to sell real estate.” 

Pinellas County Consumer Protection, with the help of valued partners, continues to protect the interests of consumers and legitimate businesses. If you believe that you have been defrauded or wish to report a scam, call (727) 464-6200 or file a complaint here.