Sarasota News Leader

08/02/2013

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IN THE WAKE OF FRAUD Mold grows on the front of the home at 1762 Southpointe Drive. The 'mega-home' was once owned by Rich Bobka, who was indicted on 34 counts of home-flipping fraud. Later, his brother, George Cavallo, owned the house. All photos by Roger Drouin CONVICTED OF FRAUD, FLIPPERS ARE GONE FROM ONE QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD WEST OF U.S. 41, BUT THEY LEFT BEHIND BARREN AND DESOLATE REMINDERS OF THEIR PAST By Roger Drouin County Editor Marilyn Gerkin's neighborhood has been hit hard. But it is not just the economic slump that has impacted this west-of-the-Trail Sarasota County neighborhood. ring known as the Bobka/Adams fraud conspiracy. "This used to be a nice neighborhood," Gerkin said. The streets in this quiet area of canal-front The convicted flippers are gone, but they homes are still reeling from the direct after- left behind barren and desolate reminders of math of one of Southwest Florida's largest their past. home-flipping fraud Residents here, such rings. Four of the as Gerkin, point to Right now there is a lot of uncertainty. now empty homes — houses that sit vacant were once owned by which once belonged Josh Sankes Resident some of the masterto people convicted of North Holiday Drive minds of the flipping illegally and vastly in-

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