Florida couple arrested for property management fraud

A Charlotte County, Florida couple running an unlicensed property management company are facing grand theft charges for allegedly stealing a deposit and rent they collected on the behalf of property owners.

R. Zobel Property Management, Inc.'s owner Robert Andrew Zobel, 42, and bookkeeper, girlfriend Crystal Leigh Stott, 31, were arrested in an ongoing fraud investigation that began June 25, when a prospective tenant who found the rental in a Craigslist posting contacted police, reports WFXT-TV. 

The couple are accused of taking a $500 rental deposit and $100 application fee from an Englewood woman who contacted the property owner when it was apparent that the couple were not meeting her with keys on her move-in date. The landlord said she terminated her agreement with Zobel's company and never received any rent money, when contacted by the victim.

Stott allegedly spent nearly $36,000 collected from real estate transactions to support her drug habit for the past several months, detectives told WFTX-TV. Investigators say as Zobel's bookkeeper, Stott had access to the company's business accounts and would transfer money and write checks to herself.

Zobel turned himself in to authorities. Stott, 31, was arrested during a traffic stop Wednesday after she left the couple's home in Port Charlotte.