But Presscott Rosche -- or Prescott Rosche -- is not a person. It is a limited partnership registered with the state. The partnership's registration papers list no person with the name "Presscott Rosche," nor does anyone with that name appear in searches of public records or databases.
Nine homeowners told The Herald that the Presscott Rosche deeds for their houses are bogus. Some were unaware of the deeds until informed by a reporter.
"I haven't signed anything," said Diana Benintend of Ocala, Fla., whose house was transferred to Presscott Rosche -- without her knowledge, she says.
"Those signatures aren't even close," said attorney Timothy Kingcade, whose clients Gustavo Graziano and Cecilia Falzone appeared to give their house to Presscott Rosche last year. "The deed is defective in a lot of ways. ... My clients didn't know anything about this, I am absolutely certain."
Deeds and other official records are filed with Miami-Dade's clerk of courts. But the clerk's office does not have the authority to reject suspicious documents or investigate potential fraud, said David Rooney, head of the clerk's recording office. If a document meets all the formal requirements, it must be recorded, he said.
"We're just ministerial," Rooney said. "We can't judge whether something is fraudulent or not."
But Rooney conceded that some Presscott Rosche deeds should have been rejected because they didn't have the required signatures.
Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera is also investigating the Presscott Rosche transactions, to ensure that tax bills go to the true owners.
"There's definitely something fishy going on here," Lopez-Cantera said. "We're going to do our due diligence."
In addition to the deeds, Presscott Rosche has often submitted a document called a "Notice of Non-Abandonment" announcing its claim to the homes "before God Almighty under the Great Seal of Florida, and the laws of the united states of America (sic)."
Rooney said he has never seen such a document before, and he is unsure if it has any legal significance. "I can't tell you what that is," Rooney said.
These notices were signed by "David T. Boyd-Bey, Attorney In Fact." But Boyd-Bey is not licensed as an attorney in Florida, or in his home state of California, records show. Boyd-Bey could not be reached for comment.
Valid or not, the deeds have allowed Presscott Rosche to gain control of several homes -- and rent some of them to tenants.
For example, Presscott Rosche has rented out the Grazianos' home to John Martinez for the past seven months. Martinez said he was told Presscott Rosche is the owner of the house.
"These people are very legit," Martinez said of Presscott Rosche.
Frank Lopez disagrees.
In January 2012, Presscott Rosche filed a deed saying Lopez and his wife transferred their Kendall home to the partnership, records show. Lopez says the deed was forged; he first heard of Presscott Rosche months later, when he discovered three people inside his house, which had been left vacant after the couple divorced.
Lopez said he called the Miami-Dade Police Department to remove the three people. But after an officer arrived, a group of four men pulled up in a Mercedes Benz with a purported deed to his house. The officer told Lopez that it appeared he was no longer the owner and he had to leave, Lopez said. (The police department has no record of the incident.)
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