GBI Makes Arrest in Mortgage Closing Fraud Investigation
Decatur, GA (May 6, 2022) – Georgia Bureau of Investigation Cyber Crime Center agents arrested Stella Mae Zebic, age 42, of Brookhaven on April 28, 2022. Zebic is charged with felony theft by taking and was taken to the DeKalb County Jail. The investigation was conducted in coordination with the Cyber Fraud Task Force of the Georgia Office of the Attorney General, the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI Atlanta Cyber Task Force.
In December of 2021, the GBI was requested to investigate a Business Email Compromise (BEC) involving real estate transaction fraud which targeted a Hall County victim.
The victim received a spoofed email claiming to be from her closing attorney while in the process of purchasing a home in June of 2021. Believing that the email was legitimate, the victim followed the instructions to wire closing funds in the amount of $155,477.46 to a bank account. GBI agents were able to confirm the account holder where the funds were wired was Zebic. Zebic controlled and distributed the funds while in DeKalb County.
The GBI encourages anyone involved in real estate transactions to be familiar with mortgage closing scams to avoid becoming a victim. Information on this specific cybercrime can be found on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/mortgage-closing-scams-how-protect-yourself-and-your-closing-funds/
Report cybercrime to your local law enforcement and online at www.ic3.gov .