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Tallahassee Woman Charged with Grand Theft and Insurance Fraud for Stealing $225,000 by Attempted Mortgage Fraud

3/2/2018

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 2, 2018
Contact: Jon Moore, 850.413.2842, Jon.Moore1@myfloridacfo.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis today announced the recent arrest of Michellet Alexandra Lincoln, owner of Lyonsgate Acquisitions Corporation, for allegedly stealing $225,000 from a local couple who thought they were purchasing a new home. Lincoln allegedly forged fraudulent documents in order to acquire and sell real estate that she did not own.
CFO Patronis’ Division of Investigative & Forensic Services (DIFS) received a tip alleging that Lincoln and Lyonsgate Acquisitions Corporation (Lyonsgate) may have engaged in illegal activity surrounding the sale of a home in Tallahassee. As a result, DIFS took a closer look into the allegations.
 
"Preying on vulnerable Floridians will not be tolerated under my watch,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “A home is often the largest and most valuable investment you can make. If you take advantage of unsuspecting Floridians, we will catch you and throw you in jail.” 
 
Investigators discovered Lincoln allegedly presented a Tallahassee couple with a plan to walk away from their mortgage debt. Lincoln presented a fraudulent assignment of mortgage to the homeowners showing that Lyonsgate had assumed their mortgage and a fraudulent satisfaction of mortgage showing that the mortgage had been paid in full. Based upon Lincoln’s representations and documentation, the couple signed the warranty deed over to Lyonsgate and made no further mortgage payments. 
 
Once the original owners moved out of the home, Lincoln sold the fraudulently acquired property in December 2015 to another local couple for the amount of $215,000 with a required $10,000 down payment. Lincoln pocketed the payments and the mortgage company never received payment for the original mortgage from the previous owner. Due to the outstanding balance, the bank commenced on the foreclosure process against the new homeowners.
 
After inquiring into the matter, the previous homeowner's bank confirmed there was no record of an assignment of mortgage or any payments against the mortgage from Lincoln or Lyonsgate. 
As a result of the investigation, DIFS located Lincoln in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and through the collaborative efforts of the Gwinnett County Police Department, Lincoln was arrested and taken into custody February 6, 2018.  Lincoln has since been extradited to Leon County, Florida, where she faces charges of insurance fraud, uttering a forged instrument, forgery, grand theft and scheme to defraud.
 
This case will be prosecuted by the Leon County State Attorney’s Office 2nd Judicial Circuit and if convicted, Lincoln could face up to 100 years in prison.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a native Floridian and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).