MONCKS CORNER — Matthew Beck and his girlfriend should be getting ready to settle into a double-wide mobile home that was supposed to be moved to Beck's 10 acres in Cross.
The young couple instead is facing another year of living with Beck's father, along with their 8-month-old son, after the arrest of the mobile home dealer on breach of trust charges.
Beck said the mobile home the couple liked so much is probably still sitting in Hardeeville, and he's out $33,500.
"As it is right now I've got a monthly mortgage payment for a mobile home I don't even have," he said Wednesday.
Beck is not alone. A Moncks Corner police report lists 16 other individuals police said were victims of Aquilla Jason Bozard, 37, who operated Advantage Homes on U.S. Highway 52.
Police arrested Bozard on eight counts of breach of trust last week, Lt. Michael Roach said. Bozard, of Moncks Corner, posted bail, but is scheduled to be back in court Friday on 14 counts of grand larceny and six additional counts of breach of trust, Roach said.
Bozard acted as a broker for Green Tree Services of Columbia. Roach explained the process:
Green Tree would repossess or foreclose on a mobile home and give the order to vacate the property to Advantage Homes. The home would remain where it was or be pulled to Bozard's business for sale.
Roach said Bozard received payment for reselling the homes but didn't always give the money to Green Tree. As a result, the new "owners" of the mobile homes can't move them and can't take legal possession of them because they don't have the titles, Roach said.
Roach said Bozard owed Green Tree $192,000 for 10 mobile homes he sold for $290,000.
Bozard was to pay Green Tree representatives during a May 27 meeting, a police report stated. Lynda Leonardi of Green Tree said Bozard showed her what appeared to be a cashier's check for $192,000 and she began signing over the titles.
The police report said Bozard switched envelopes while Leonardi was in the restroom and she didn't realize it until she left the meeting.
Instead of the cashier's check for $192,000, the envelope contained checks for $20 and $1, police said.
Green Tree representatives met with police two days later.
Bozard could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Seven mobile homes, some missing siding, remain on the lot that is littered with concrete blocks and wooden stairs that once led to doors.
Nobody was in the business office.
Beck said he thinks he'll get something back from his investment, but he's not expecting the full $33,500.
He, his girlfriend and son will continue living at the home of Beck's father, but they are in tight quarters.
"It could be another year or so until we save up more money for a home that wasn't quite as nice as what we originally purchased," Beck said.
When that time comes, Beck said that he would be hesitant to buy another repossessed home.