Man posed as dead woman’s grandson, attempted to sell her home, police say

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of posing as a dead woman’s grandson, moving into her three-bedroom home with plans to sell the residence, authorities said.

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Braden Antonio Emdin, 38, of Fort Lauderdale, is accused of gaining access to the home, living there and then attempting to sell the residence for approximately $500,000, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

According to a joint news release from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar, Emdin was arrested on Aug. 17 and faces 17 charges, including grand theft of more than $100,000, unlawful filing of false property documents, obtaining property over $50,000 by fraud and fraud possession of identification of another person without their consent.

Emdin was arrested during an undercover operation at a title company in Cooper City, where he was alleged to have falsified a deed, notary stamp, and last will and testament, WFOR-TV reported.

The owner of the house in Tamarac, Muriel Meisler, died on Oct. 22, 2019, according to her obituary.

Before her death, Meisner was the sole owner of the residence, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Broward County property records show that she and her late husband were the original owners and bought the home in 1982 for $145,000, according to the newspaper.

Zillow estimates the home is now worth $651,000, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Property records show Meisler and her late husband were the original owners in 1982 and purchased it for $145,000.

After Meisler died, Emdin allegedly submitted a document that stated he could inherit the home, as the woman said she wanted her “grandson” to have the residence “so that he would have a place to make his own,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.

“My grandson honestly has been there for me since day one making sure I wanted for nothing,” it read.

Meisler’s son, who lives in Canada and is the legal heir and executor of his mother’s home, said that while the woman had relatives, Emdin was not one of them, according to the newspaper.

On May 30, 2023, Emdin registered the house with Broward County’s Owner Alert program, which notifies a property owner by email or regular mail if a deed is filed on their property changing ownership.

“He thought he was one step ahead of us,” Ron Cacciatore, director of the Professional Standards and Compliance of the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office, told the Sun-Sentinel.

He was not.

Investigators discovered Emdin was living in the home with three unidentified women. He was attempting to sell the home, which “was in deplorable condition” to a legitimate buyer for about a half-million dollars, sheriff’s office Detective Joseph Sommovigo told the newspaper.

According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by WPTV, Emdin initiated several telephone calls and emails with employees at the property appraiser’s office and title company “in an attempt to deceive them into believing that he was the rightful heir to said property.”

When Emdin signed the deed at the title company on Aug. 17, he was arrested by deputies, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

According to the sheriff’s office news release, Edmin is also accused of stealing the identities of dozens of victims including bank account information, credit card information, Social Security numbers and other personal information. He is also charged with theft of funds from a prominent Broward County business.

“Marty Kiar, Broward County Property Appraiser, and Sheriff (Gregory) Tony want to assure the public that these crimes will not be tolerated in Broward County and through their partnership will work tirelessly to protect the homes of Broward County residents,” Kiar said in the joint statement.

Emdin remains in the Broward County Jail, booking records show. Bail was set at $151,038.