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Former Hernando sheriff's candidate accused of real estate fraud

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:31 PM

A man who unsuccessfully ran for Hernando County sheriff was arrested Tuesday after being accused of real estate fraud.

The investigation began when renters at 1376 Newhope Road in Spring Hill began complaining about a leaky roof and an overflowing septic tank, Hernando detectives said. Repeated calls to the man the tenants thought was the property owner went unanswered.

In November 2011, the tenants stopped paying the rent and eventually moved out. Suspicious that the property owner never came looking for them for the unpaid rent, they contacted the Hernando sheriff's office.

Detectives said they found Luke A. Frazier had been representing himself as the owner, signing official documents and collecting rent, even though the property belonged to Richard Goszczynski.

Frazier, a Hernando County resident, ran unsuccessfully in 2008 against former Sheriff Richard Nugent.

Further investigation revealed that in March 2007, a quit claim deed to the property was filed, granting the property to XRX Corp., of which Luke Frazier was the CEO.

When contacted, Goszczynski provided sworn testimony that he had never met Frazier, never completed a quit claim deed to the property and that his signature has been forged on the deed; in fact, his name was spelled incorrectly.

In April, detectives contacted the original renters, who identified Frazier as the man to whom they paid rent. Between the down payment and rent, they had paid him $4,500.

In August, a new tenant in the residence contacted the Hernando County Sheriff's Office saying the home was burglarized and listing Frazier as the suspect.

This month, detectives interviewed Frazier about the burglary and said Frazier's stories had numerous inconsistencies.

Tuesday, detectives learned Frazier had gone to the courthouse and filed to have the current residents evicted. They said by claiming the property was his and posting the eviction notice, he had perjured himself.

Frazier was located at the Spring Hill home and arrested. He was taken to the Hernando County Detention Center and charged with organized fraud and perjury. He is being held on $22,000 bail.

The investigation is continuing.

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