Daytona Beach man accused of using fraudulent deeds in scheme to sell other people's homes – Daytona Beach News-Journal
A Daytona Beach man sold one house and tried to sell another, but there was a problem.
Neither home belonged to him, according to a charging affidavit.
Javon Walden had a deed to a house notarized seven days after the homeowner’s death, according to the affidavit. Then he sold the house for $70,000.
Walden then planted a for sale sign on the yard of another home owned by the estate of a deceased woman but failed to close on that scheme, according to the affidavit.
Walden, 37, was charged with organized scheme to defraud over $50,000, a first-degree felony. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on Dec. 28 and released two hours later after posting a $50,000 bond.
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While Walden was just arrested, the incidents date back a year and were investigated by detectives from the Daytona Beach Police Department and the 7th Circuit State Attorney’s White Collar Fraud Unit.
On Nov. 20, 2020, Walden had a quit claim deed to a home owned by Charles E. Gadson at 930 Lewis Road in Daytona Beach notarized, according to a charging affidavit. Gadson had died seven days earlier on Nov. 13, 2020, the affidavit stated.
The notary, Alfrenecia Perkins, refused to backdate the deed, but the defective deed, seemingly notarized by her, was recorded on Nov. 23, 2020, according to the Volusia County Clerk of Courts Office, the affidavit stated.
Walden reached an agreement on Dec. 8, 2020 to sell the home for $70,000 to Patronas International LLC, according to the affidavit. The transaction closed on April 23, 2021 and after several liens were paid off, Walden received $33,450.51 which went directly to the state of Florida for back child support, the affidavit stated. Another $22,724 was wired to a bank account belonging to Walden, the affidavit stated.
Walden also targeted a property at 1128 Hillcrest Drive belonging to the estate of Judith Swindle in Daytona Beach. Swindle died on March 28, 2017, according to the affidavit.
Notary Public Lori Lawhorn, who runs Florida Mobile Notary, got a call from Walden and they agreed to meet in the parking lot of the Walmart on Beville Road about a quit claim deed for the Hillcrest property. Lawhorn said she had been shopping at Walmart when she got the call.
Lawhorn said when Walden arrived there was a second man in the car with him. She said she refused to notarize the deed because of the formatting, the affidavit stated.
But Lawhorn said that she had placed her notary stamp on the trunk of her vehicle, the affidavit stated.
Lawhorn believes that the other man in the car used her notary stamp without her permission while Walden distracted her by having her speak on the phone to someone who claimed to be an attorney, the affidavit stated.
The fraudulent quit claim deed allegedly notarized by Lawhorn was recorded on Dec. 21, 2020, the affidavit stated.
Walden then filed legal papers demanding that three people who were residing in the Hillcrest Drive home either pay him rent or vacate the premises, according to the affidavit.
Walden had gone by the house and placed a for sale sign in the yard, the affidavit stated. The sign was removed by the occupants. The occupants were the cousins of Jeremy Hanger, who was incarcerated in state prison and was a memberof the family that owned the home..
Hanger told investigators that he grew up with Walden, who knew his family and had even spent the night at the home, the affidavit stated. He said that he was angry at Walden’s actions.
Hanger hired an attorney to look into the issue and stop the sale of the home.
State Attorney R.J. Larizza’s office issued a press release about Walden’s arrest.
“The defendant created and filed fraudulent deeds in an attempt to obtain properties from folks he grew up with,” Larizza stated in the release. “He used his knowledge of these folks and their particular vulnerabilities to feed his greed. The State Attorney’s Office looks forward to holding him accountable for his conduct.”