Deceased Real Estate Agent’s Identity Stolen


By Jennifer Felten 

Mary Anne Rolnick

Fraudsters and spammers are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s world.  It seems everyone is on social media, emails, texting, and buried deep inside their “smart device”.  This has proven to be a gold mine for many fraudsters, and it appears they have no conscience in some cases.

In June 2017, the very sad story broke of 76-year-old Mary Anne Rolnick, who was believed to be murdered.  She was a Jacksonville, Florida based Realtor.  To make it worse, her son is being charged with the murder.  You’d think that was bad enough.  However, a month after her death, she was sending out emails to agents saying that she had an interested buyer client.  Obviously, she didn’t send the emails.  It was another fraudster at work, although it’s not clear what they were after.

Of the multiple people to receive the fake email, one was Nancilee Holland, a Realtor based in Westchester County, New York.  It was reported that Nancilee first thought the email was legitimate, but after she read it, the email just didn’t seem right.  Something was off, and it bothered her.  After a more careful inspection of the email she started to notice the bad grammar and typos, which are not typical of a professional.  So, she did what we all do when we’re curious about someone; she “Googled” them.  That is how she found out about the death and figured out a scammer was attempting to get something from her.  Nancilee is not the only person to report receiving the emails.  People as far away from Florida as Phoenix, Arizona have also reported receiving it.

RELAW, APC has written many articles on how to protect yourself from scams and fraudsters in the electronic world.  Please be very diligent and cautious, especially with wiring funds.


Jennifer Felten

Jennifer Felten, Esq., Relaw Ms. Felten specializes in representing both individuals and legal entities, providing representation and guidance on a variety of real estate related matters.  Relaw APC 699 Hampshire Road, Suite 105 Westlake Village, CA  91361 US Phone: (805) 265-1031 or email her at: [email protected] 


Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Jennifer will be teaching a class for the Escrow Training Institute on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at 8:30, at the Holiday Inn in Carlsbad on Escrows in Probate, Bankruptcy, Divorce and More.  For more information on the class or to register please visit:  Escrow Institute Class Schedule

For inquiries or questions about having Ms. Felten speak to your organization please email [email protected].

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