Real estate fraud

Grand Island police believe a man sold this mobile home even though he wasn’t the owner. This home is at 307 Arapahoe Ave. (The Independent/Jeff Bahr)

Grand Island police say a buyer paid $45,000 for a trailer home to a man who didn’t have authority to sell the property.

The man who’s accused of fraud had been living in the house, which is at 307 Arapahoe Ave.

Police Capt. Dean Elliott said the suspect and the real owner of the house planned to enter into a rent-to-own agreement.

“But they hadn’t got that far yet,” Elliott said,

The owner of the home was out of town. “But the owner had said, ‘If you can find somebody to buy it, I’d entertain that as well,’” he said.

For whatever reason, the man who was renting the property went ahead and made arrangements to sell the trailer to the victim, Jose Munoz. They signed a sale agreement, although the suspect didn’t have the right to do that, Elliott said.

About $5,000 made it to the real owner of the house. The landlord “still has some of that money, but the rest of the money is missing and so is the person that was kind of the middle man, so to speak,” he said.

The process, which included repairs and renovations to the house, unfolded over the course of a couple of years.

The suspect in the case is known to Grand Island police. He lives in a neighboring county.

Grand Island police have asked authorities in that county for help in locating the suspect.

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