Man Arrested for Using Stolen Identities to Sell House

NEWS RELEASE 20-100 - AUGUST 17, 2020
Lavoie, Vernon

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man in connection with fraudulently selling a Sarasota home and opening a bank account using stolen identification information.
The investigation began on May 13 when the victim reported a house he owned in Sarasota being sold without authorization. Through investigation, detectives learned Vernon Lavoie, DOB 03/30/65, posed as the homeowner and arranged the transaction in early March. They also determined Lavoie used a false driver’s license with personal information of another victim to open a bank account and receive a total of $58,785 for the property. He was identified on video surveillance at three bank branches making large cash withdrawals from the fraudulent account shortly after the funds were transferred. Both victims confirmed they have no association with Lavoie and never gave him permission to conduct business on their behalf. He was taken into custody Thursday afternoon.
Lavoie, of 2525 S. Tamiami Trail, Unit 103, in Sarasota, is charged with Scheme to Defraud $50,000 or More, Mortgage Fraud, Counterfeiting of a Driver’s License, and two counts of Criminal Use of Personal Identification. He was recently arrested in Alabama for Identity Theft and is currently on probation for Grand Theft. Lavoie remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility on $38,000 bond while the investigation continues.