FERGUSON, Mo. – Jeff Hopkins says it happened when he remaining town to care for his dying mother. His complaint didn’t feel achievable until FOX2 begun investigating his report.
Its investigation took them to three cities in two states. The authentic estate broker, Sheena Cox, performs out of an business office in Bonne Terre. She took Hopkins house with the help of an alleged cast guarantee deed, which was recorded in February of 2021.
It reveals it was stamped a yr-and-a-half previously by a notary at the bank across the road from the broker’s place of work. The financial institution, nevertheless, explained its notary did not notarize the signature and that the logbook confirms this. Hopkins claims he wasn’t even in the condition at the time.
Hopkins at first bought the residence in question as a weekend property in Rockport, Illinois 6 a long time back.
“I just utilized it for a weekend place, just to go to get absent from St. Louis, just to go up there and dangle out in the woods,” he mentioned. “There’s a huge bluff on the side.”
Hopkins experienced to rush to Daytona, Florida in 2019 to dwell with his dying mother. In the meantime, he mentioned he tried and failed to offer his Rockport, Illinois house to actual estate broker Cox. He claimed he uncovered her on-line.
Hopkins states months following that unsuccessful deal, he questioned a good friend to look at on the location.
“A mate of mine drove up by there, was heading to Hannibal and I explained get the again way and choose a seem at the position and see how it is,” he stated. “When he drove up there, he pulled around and explained hey – you’ve got squatters dwelling in the property and I stated, ‘squatters?’”
Tristen Smith was residing there. She advised us by cellular phone she was stunned to get a concept from Hopkins.
“I didn’t even know he existed until he contacted me on Fb,” she said. “I never ever experienced heard of him.”
Smith explained she’d answered an advert, by a enterprise called Simple Own Residences – and a lady named Sheena Cox. Smith confirmed me her contract to invest in the property for $35,000. She lived in the home from Oct. 2019 – March 2021 till she heard from Hopkins. Smith experienced created months of payments to a woman she explained identified herself as Sheena Cox. She explained she hardly ever met Cox in human being.
Smith stated, “I ended up in the end contacting the law enforcement due to the fact I was just bewildered, uhm, and they came around to the property in Rockport and he suggested that I go to the tax business, the Treasurer’s Business and also the Recorder’s Place of work to locate out whose name it was in and it was in his name. It was in Jeff Hopkins’s identify. It shocked me.”
That was just prior to the February deed seemingly transferring the property to Sheena Cox was recorded.
We went to Bonne Terre to monitor down Sheena Cox. The Pike County, IL Sheriff confirmed an arrest warrant for Cox, filed for forgery. We also confirmed investigations by Bonne Terre Police and St. Francois County. A examine of Missouri Genuine Estate Fee documents identified no self-control versus her broker affiliate license.
Cox was not in her place of work, but she responded with a string of texts accusing Hopkins of performing improperly. She wrote, “Are you referring to the problem where Jeff Hopkins tried to scandal/resell a person of my customers a piece of land in Rockport, IL that he no more time owned?!”
We defined that we’d now interviewed Tristen Smith and that Smith reported her criticism was not with Hopkins, but with Cox.
Cox texted, “I never want to be on the information and I’m just much too active increasing young ones to help a great deal. Thank you for your time.”
Cox was arrested on her remarkable warrant Oct. 5. She’s now billed with felony forgery. She bonded out and has nevertheless to give her plea in court docket. She’s scheduled for her first look in Pike County, Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
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