Police are investigating possible fraud in squatters’ case in Coral Gables
Police are investigating whether a family allegedly squatting in a million-dollar Coral Gables house forged a lease they turned over to city officials Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the owners of the rambling four-bedroom house at 601 Sunset Dr. face a $500-a-day fine unless they secure the house and properly register the vacant house, said Craig Leen, the attorney for the city of Coral Gables.
Since September, when police were called to the house by a tenant renting a room, city officials have suspected the family was squatting in the house. The house had been empty and in the midst of a foreclosure after the owners divorced five years ago. Owner Damian Echauri said his wife was given the majority of the house in a settlement and was supposed to sell it, but when she couldn’t, she stopped paying the mortgage.
In November, Echauri said he discovered Robert Ramos, 33, his wife Ana Alvarez, 52, and Alvarez’s son, Jonathan, 27, living in the house when his son spotted an ad on Craigslist listing a room for rent.