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South Florida attorney accused of helping woman steal home

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South Florida attorney accused of helping woman steal home


COOPER CITY, Fla. – A South Florida lawyer is facing three felony charges after authorities accused her of using her position to help a Cooper City woman steal her son’s stake in a home.

Authorities arrested Ashley Ruth Morin, 28, of Cooper City, on Monday, according to Broward County jail records.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the Broward Sheriff’s Office investigation into Morin began after the Broward County Property Appraiser’s office received a complaint that Suzanne Corcoran, who’s also been charged in the case, filed a forged quit claim deed in her son’s name “which removed his interest in the property,” which they had owned jointly.

BSO Detective Robert Feick, working as part of a detachment with the BCPA, wrote in the affidavit that Morin once worked for Corcoran’s son as an attorney.

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Feick wrote that after Corcoran, 64, returned from vacation on May 8, 2023, Morin drove her around to various post offices in order to find someone to notarize a pre-stamped deed bearing the victim’s signature.

Corcoran was eventually successful at a UPS Store, authorities said. Feick wrote that she and Morin drove to a Davie library to make copies of the deed. Corcoran, he wrote, then asked a third party, whose name was redacted from the affidavit, to pick her up and take her to the Broward County Governmental Center to record the deed.

The affidavit states that Corcoran had brought a copy of the deed and county employees informed her that they needed the original, which Morin had.

Morin “brought the original deed” and Corcoran recorded it, Feick wrote.

“(Redacted) stated that Morin informed him that she had printed the deed at (redacted) before leaving her job there,” Feick wrote. “Additionally, Morin told (redacted) that she stole (the victim’s) signature stamp from his office before leaving the job. Additionally, Morin told (redacted) that (the victim) had two stamps, ensuring that he wouldn’t notice one of the stamps missing.”

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Corcoran, during a consultation with another lawyer, tried to falsely implicate that third party in the case to conceal Morin’s involvement, according to the affidavit.

Feick wrote that a witness told investigators that Morin advised Corcoran to “discard the stamp,” which she did.

Suzanne Corcoran (BSO)

“Suzanne told her that one of the attorneys she consulted with told Suzanne that what she did was a crime and had advised her to reverse it back to how (the deed) was originally…which Suzanne eventually did,” he wrote.

Feick wrote that there were also “screenshots of messages apparently received by Suzanne from Ashley Morin wherein Morin appears to be giving Suzanne advice on the situation.”

The detective wrote that he spoke over the phone with Morin on Feb. 7. He said she claimed she “didn’t know much of anything” regarding what happened and she denied taking the stamp or seeing it.

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“When asked if she drove Suzanne Corcoran around to get the deed notarized, she stated that she no longer wanted to answer any questions and would not come in for an interview,” Feick wrote.

Both Morin and Corcoran are facing charges of first-degree grand theft, filing false documents against property and criminal use of personal identification information. Corcoran has pleaded not guilty in the case.

According to the Florida Bar website, Morin has since been employed as a Boca Raton-based associate for Shendell & Pollock, P.A., “a full-service litigation and business law firm.”

Her biography was still listed on the firm’s website as of late Tuesday morning.

Local 10 News contacted Shendell & Pollock seeking comment Tuesday morning and had not heard back as of Tuesday afternoon. Local 10 News also contacted the Florida Bar inquiring whether Morin was under investigation by that entity.

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Morin did not have an attorney of her own listed in Broward court records. Corcoran’s attorney, Scott Saul, spoke to Local 10 News on Tuesday afternoon, noting that his client is presumed innocent.

“There are significant mitigating circumstances here and there’s a sad family feud going on,” Saul said.

Saul said he couldn’t elaborate on those circumstances.

Morin was being held in the BSO Main Jail on a $15,000 bond as of Tuesday afternoon, while Corcoran had already bonded out of jail following her arrest Thursday.

The BCPA’s office has a free program homeowners can use to prevent title fraud.

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Copyright 2024 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.



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Florida homes empty as housing market tumbles in some cities

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Florida homes empty as housing market tumbles in some cities


Florida’s Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area has the highest share of rental homes sitting vacant in the entire country, according to recent research from Construction Coverage.

Read more: Avoid the Hassle of Rental Properties With These Top Real Estate ETFs

The report, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, found that an average 15.3 percent of rental homes in Cape Coral-Fort Myers were vacant in 2023, up from 8 percent the year before. The median monthly rent in the metro area had also risen from $1,708 in 2022 to $1,967 in 2023, as the percentage of renters that are cost-burdened rose from 56 percent to 59.3 percent.

Within the same period, the percentage of households renting in Cape Coral-Fort Myers dropped from 26.5 percent to 21.5 percent, a decrease which can partially explain the rise in rental home vacancy in the metro area.

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A home for rent in Miami, Florida. The state’s Cape Coral-Fort Myers area has the highest rental vacancy rates in the country, according to a Redfin report.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At the same time, the nationwide rental vacancy rate was 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2024—below the historical average of 7.3 percent. The rental market is cooling off across the entire country, but, while prices have decreased since their peak in the third quarter of 2023, rent remains generally higher than many can afford.

Read more: How to Invest in Real Estate

Among the top 25 metro areas with the highest rental vacancy rates were also Jacksonville, Florida (11th with a share of 9.4 percent), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida (20th with a share of 8.5 percent) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida (23rd with a share of 8.4 percent).

Higher vacancy rates can generally be found in southern and midwestern states, according to the report, while western and northeastern states have the lowest shares of empty rental homes. This is due to the fact that western and northeastern states have a lower supply of rental units, while demand remains high.

It’s no surprise then that Florida, one of the states that, together with Texas, has been building the highest numbers of new homes in the country in recent years, is seeing higher vacancy rates as inventory grows.

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Read more: How Much Is My House Worth? How to Determine Your Home’s Value

A recent Redfin report found that housing markets on Florida’s west coast are cooling faster than any other in the country, with North Port reporting a price fall of 6.6 percentage points in April compared to a year earlier—the biggest drop in the country.

It was followed by two other Florida metros, Tampa and Cape Coral, which recorded price drops of 8 percentage points and 4.6 percentage points respectively within the same period.

“Florida home prices had been going up from 2020-2023 quite rapidly, so Florida is due for a correction,” Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, told Newsweek in a written statement. “The rising cost of living in Florida is also discouraging migration, and high interest rates are dampening the market broadly.”

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Florida family makes cross-county journey to save dog bitten by rattlesnake

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Florida family makes cross-county journey to save dog bitten by rattlesnake


A family made a cross-county trek in central Florida to save their dog that was bitten by a rattlesnake. 

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Thankfully, the pup, Abby, survived and is back home with her family a week after the attack on June 9. After the terrifying ordeal, her family is speaking out to spread awareness and advise pet owners if they find themselves in a similar situation. 

The attack happened in St. Cloud, but they had to drive more than an hour to Melbourne because not every vet has anti-venom on hand. The emergency vet, Animal Specialty and Emergency Center, on Eau Gallie, was open and had treatment ready. 

“I let the dogs out, and within five minutes, all of them were barking,” said Sayre, who has six other dogs, including Abby. 

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They all spotted the snake, but Sayer didn’t know any of them had been attacked immediately. 

After spotting the snake by their family’s cabin in St. Cloud, the family quickly noticed Abby wasn’t acting like herself. 

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“She was just pouring drool, and she’ll drool but not that much,” she said. 

She was bitten in her ear, and quickly, her face started to swell. The entire family and friends jumped into action, calling frantically to find a vet who could help save Abby’s life. 

“I was just trying to keep her awake because she kept dozing off. I kept her calm, but I just wanted her to stay awake,” said Abby’s mother. 

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The closest open vet they could find that had anti-venom on hand was more than an hour away, in Melbourne. Abby was bitten around 7 a.m., and they didn’t make it to the vet until 9 a.m. on June 9.

“It can be fatal, and it can be fatal pretty quickly,” said Dr. Marissa Rutt, an emergency veterinarian at the Animal Specialty & Emergency Center of Brevard.

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Rutt was the first to see Abby. They quickly gave her anti-venom, but she didn’t improve right away.

“She needed multiple, multiple vials of treatment,” said the doctor. 

Her family was there holding her paw and getting ready to say goodbye.

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“We don’t know if she’s going to make it,” said Sayre. “We thought this might be the last time.”

Finally, after the seventh vial of anti-venom, Abby turned a corner and started to get better. 

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“It literally binds to the venom in their blood and helps to remove it from their system,” said Rutt. 

Abby spent a day at the emergency vet and the treatment cost around $6,000. A week later, Abby still has some swelling around her neck, but at least she’s alive.

“If anybody knows us at all, it’s that we love our pets more than people, and they’re our family,” said Sayre. 

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Rattlesnake bites are more common during the summer. Dr. Rutt says no over-the-counter medicine can help stop the spread. Minutes matter when a rattlesnake strikes and venom starts to take over. 

“Have a plan. Don’t ever think that can’t happen to you, or I live in the city; this can’t happen because it can,” she said. “It can happen anywhere.”

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Having a plan means having an emergency vet in your phone contact who is ready to go and has anti-venom on hand. Look into that before you’re in a crisis! Also, every case is different, but Dr. Rutt says one hour from when the snake bites to when you make it to the vet gives your pet the best chance of survival. 

Abby’s family has started a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses for this unexpected emergency. You can access the site HERE. 



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Florida Panthers started in Miami-Dade County, but are they now Broward’s team?

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Florida Panthers started in Miami-Dade County, but are they now Broward’s team?


SUNRISE, Fla – Everywhere you look in the 954, there’s Florida Panthers buzz.

From banners at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, to signs on county buses, and flags on light poles.

On players’ helmets is the logo for Visit Lauderdale, the tourism arm of the county.

So can Broward County rightly claim the team as its own?

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Mayor Nan Rich thinks so.

“The Panthers are Broward County’s team!” she exclaimed. “We’re happy everybody loves the Panthers but they only have one home, and that’s in Broward County.”

County administrator Monica Cepero, a die-hard Cats fan, proudly showed off her collection of bobbleheads and jerseys and made the bold prediction: Panthers will win the Stanley Cup in five games.

But Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava responded with a reminder that the team started in Miami in 1993, making their debut at the old Miami Arena.

“I’m a regional thinker. Mayor Nan Rich knows that. We’re great friends, so it’s a friendly rivalry,” Levine Cava said. “I’m willing to share, they started here in Miami-Dade.”

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Still, ice hockey isn’t a household sport, no matter where in South Florida you live.

In interviews outside grocery stores and strip malls around Fort Lauderdale and Miami, many told Local 10 they weren’t big hockey fans and didn’t know much about the sport.

Some said they preferred soccer.

Others, however, were hopeful that the success of the team will create new fans.

The phrases might be different, but the sentiment is the same: Vamos Gatos! Go, Cats, go!

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Copyright 2024 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.



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