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  • Writer's pictureNews 4 JAX

I-TEAM: Middleburg man shocked as scammer sells his waterfront property to a developer

Imagine owning a piece of waterfront property near Black Creek for decades and learning it’s been sold to a developer without you even knowing it. It’s a Middleburg man’s reality. His nearly 3-acre plot of land was sold to a Jacksonville developer by a scammer.




“It was really numbing to know that someone can steal something that’s paid for and you have a deed on and all of the sudden, it’s not yours anymore,” John Rooney said.


Rooney says he purchased a nearly 3-acre plot of land in 1996 as an investment for roughly $35,000. It’s land that was almost stolen from him without him even realizing that a deed with his address had been sold to a Florida home builder for $40,000. Rooney says he learned of the scam as the developer was preparing to break ground on his land.


“There was a piece of equipment, front end loader on the property -- and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this was caught just in time, what if they had built a house on my property? What would I have done then?’” he said.


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