CRIME

South Florida pair arrested in $17 million bank fraud scheme

Issak Almaleh (left) and Antoaneta Iotova (right) were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Issak Almaleh (left) and Antoaneta Iotova (right) were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  (Broward Sheriff's Office)

Authorities say two bank fraud suspects claimed to own $17 million worth of property in New York and Florida and then victimized tenants and residents there.

Court documents show 63-year-old Issak Almaleh and 51-year-old Antoaneta Iotova were arrested Wednesday in Hollywood on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and other offenses.

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The SunSentinel reports the pair selected properties in foreclosure that were owned by FDIC-insured banks. Authorities say they filed fraudulent and forged warranty deeds to show the transfer of those properties to corporations they controlled.

Authorities say they used a fraudulent deed to temporarily evict someone from a Hollywood home in 2015 and they scammed two people into signing lease agreements and handing over cash

They remained in jail Thursday. Records don't list an attorney.