SFL Real Estate Investor & Senate Candidate Steals $1,600,000
Anis Blemur an author, property investor & former Senate State candidate is languishing in jail after being convicted of stealing money from predominantly the South Florida Haitian Community. He had plead guilty in April of this year to wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
One of his many basic scams was to solicit homebuyers and persuade them to place their down payment money in an escrow account, but there was no escrow account and Blemur used the money for his personal benefit, additionally he used the escrow clients identifying information to apply for 26 credit cards.
On one occasion Blemur lied to a retired medical doctor and Haitian diplomat he had befriended that he could purchase a distressed property for $180,000 and that the doctor could help finance the transaction by providing the down payment. The diplomat convinced by the smooth talking Blemur, sent over $70,000 to buy the property as instructed by Blemur but the money never reached the escrow account. Instead Blemur pocketed the money and the property never closed.
His escapades weren’t limited to just real estate scams. In 2018 he was hit with lawsuit from Smith Joseph who had been North Miami’s Mayor since 2014. Joseph says he appointed Anis Blemur to server as his treasurer in his 2012 campaign run. Anis Blemur schemed to have Smith deposit $208,000 into what he called his own “High interest bearing” savings account so Smith would have a better rate than he could get on his campaign funds. When the Mayor asked for the money back, Blemur made excuses why he couldn’t have it yet and ultimately admitted except for $50,000, he didn’t have it anymore and couldn’t repay. Blemur’s defense was that they were in a partnership in a real estate play at the time, and as we now know that was most likely a scam as well.
In July of 2018 Mabelle Investment Group claims they hired Blemur’s company, SuperTree Real Estate and Investment Services for property management for a property in Miramar. The company claims they were persuaded to pay Blemur $20,000 upfront to pay for taxes and maintenance. The company claims it never went toward either taxes or any maintenance on the property and instead Blemur spent it on himself. It also claims Blemur pocketed all the rent he collected on their property himself as well, over $5,000 for the year.
Blemur preyed predominantly on his own community of hard-working Haitian people and this story should serve all our readers as a warning that this business of ours (Real Estate not Organized Crime) has some very dishonest and shady people who take advantage of the ill-informed and naïve. Unfortunately, there are many characters that are charismatic and seem to know a lot about investments and especially real estate. They make it seem like making money is so easy and all you have to do is invest with them and the returns come raining in soon after.
Always do your own due diligence on BOTH the person and the property they are pitching. Is it not worth spending $50 on a background check you can do online, to check to see if the person is who they say they are before you give them tens of thousands of dollars on a handshake? It would cost you maybe $500 for an hour or two of a real estate attorney’s time or a financially literate professional to go over a proposed real estate deal’s terms to see if the properties are owned by the correct parties and the numbers make sense. How can you just hand over cash and trust everything this person is telling you? Understanding how to do due diligence on properties and people is a fundamental key to success in real estate.
Blemur was sentenced to seven years in a Federal prison with a further five years of supervised release. Stories like these are a black eye on the industry. Hope he rots in there for giving good real estate investors bad reputations.