Prosecutor: Local man stole homes from the old — and the dead

Montgomery County has introduced a new plan to protect homeowners from property fraud. SUBMITTED

— A local man has been indicted on 25 felony counts for allegedly trying to wrest control of properties that were either vacant, owned by deceased individuals or owned by elderly residents, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

Dale Inman, 44, has been indicted on multiple counts in connection with the filing of fraudulent property deeds.

Over a period of several months in 2017, the defendant filed 16 fraudulent “quit claim” deeds on properties owned by other individuals, including the elderly. Once he had established “ownership” of the subject properties, he would then try to sell those properties to unsuspecting buyers, prosecutors allege.

MORE: How Montgomery County is trying to prevent people from literally having their homes stolen

Seven of the properties were allegedly owned by deceased persons, including homes in Dayton, Trotwood, Englewood, Harrison Township, and other locations in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County grand jury indictments of Inman include:

– 16 counts of Tampering with Government Records

– Six counts of Grand Theft >$7,500

– Two counts of Theft from elderly or disabled

– One count of Theft by deception

Inman is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, July 17, at 8:30 a.m.

“Real estate deed fraud has become more prevalent recently,” said Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck Jr. “Fraudsters, like this defendant, seek out homes or victims that appear to be easy targets.”

The Montgomery County Recorder’s Office unveiled a new system in May that can alert property owners when changes are made to real estate records

The Fraud Alert Notification System (FANS) will also allow family members living afar to keep tabs on the home of an aging loved one and out-of-state owners to monitor multiple properties.

The FANS service is voluntary and free. Those enrolling can opt to receive an email, a letter or both whenever a deed, a mortgage or a lien is filed on parcels enrolled in the service.

“It’s going to have specific benefit for our elderly community and also for our investors,” said Montgomery County Recorder Brandon McClain. “This incentivizes investors to feel comfortable to spend money and invest in Montgomery County. This is oversight without intrusion, this is us keeping an eye on your property when you can’t.”

A defrauded property owner can expect to spend $2,500-$3,000 legal fees to get the mess untangled, McClain said.

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