- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Authorities are searching for a man who allegedly defrauded at least eight people out of down payments for homes in Phoenix.

Phoenix police say 31-year-old Alfredo Juarez Gandarilla allegedly has been identifying himself as a real estate agent since June 2013 and giving guarantees to people that he can get them into a home.

Police say Gandarilla has provided prospective buyers with addresses of vacant homes and codes to lockboxes.

He then allegedly asks people to sign a contract to buy the home with a down payment of between $1,500 and $11,500.

Police say the victims eventually discover Gandarilla isn’t authorized to sell the property and he’s nowhere to be found when they want their money back.

Police say eight identified victims have been defrauded out of more than $45,000.

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