Over a two-year period, four people — including two lawyers — stole nearly $750,000 from elderly property owners or their heirs as part of an organized fraud scheme, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.
The lawyers, Rashida Overby, 46, and Ria Sankar-Balram, 40, were arrested Monday and face organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and money laundering charges. Overby, who was admitted into the Florida Bar in 2001, remained in Broward’s Paul Rein Detention Facility on Tuesday on a nearly $150,000 bond. Sankar-Balram, who was admitted into the Florida Bar in 2008, was no longer in jail Tuesday, records show.
The two other people, Illya Tinker, 51, and Patricia Tinker, 46, were already in jail as part of an operation by BSO last year that targeted a group of people who fraudulently took ownership of 44 homes in Broward. They now face additional charges for this scheme dubbed Operation Claim Game.
According to BSO, Overby and Sankar-Balram filed fraudulent pleadings in Broward County Court on behalf of elderly property owners or their heirs, who were owed surplus funds from the foreclosure sale of a property. The pair would then have the money deposited into escrow accounts and never returned it to the rightful owner, BSO said. Some of the money was wired to the Tinkers, BSO added.