You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Squatter takes over Fla. mansion

A multi-million dollar Boca Raton mansion is the latest home to fall into the hands of squatters taking advantage of an obscure Florida real estate law that allows them to file a claim of ownership on vacant or abandoned properties.

The waterfront home at 580 Golden Harbour Drive is being occupied by 23-year-old Andre De Palma Barbosa, who filed his so-called “adverse possession” claim on the home Dec. 19.

Purchased in 2005 for $3.1 million, former owner Michael Comparato signed a deed in lieu of foreclosure with Bank of America in July, according to Palm Beach County court records.

Adverse possession was created hundreds of years ago when hand-scrawled property records could more easily be lost, damaged or muddled. Allowing for adverse possession kept land in productive use when ownership was unclear, or, for example, the owner died with no heirs.

If the person claiming adverse possession stays in the home for seven years, paying taxes and caring for the property, they can take permanent ownership.

In recent times, adverse possession has been used in small property line disputes. But today, with property records tangled in the massive real estate meltdown and foreclosure backlog in the courts, it has been used by people hoping to take over vacant and abandoned property permanently.

Palm Beach and Broward counties experienced several adverse possession issues in 2010 when at least two men were charged with renting out homes they didn’t own to unsuspecting tenants. The men used adverse possession to take control of the properties.

One man was charged by the Broward County State Attorney’s office with one count of organized scheme to defraud over $20,000 for allegedly renting out six properties he didn’t own. Another man spent a year in jail, and was arrested again after his release for burglary, organized scheme to defraud and contributing to the delinquency of a minor when he tried to continue to rent out homes he didn’t own.

Barbosa, who has an email address that starts with Lokiboy954, has no criminal history in Florida.

Bank of America could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, 38 claims of adverse possession have been made in the past three years.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation World

Alaska Airlines to host eclipse-chasing flight in August
Alaska Airlines to host eclipse-chasing flight in August

Alaska Airlines will be chasing the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in United States history since 1918. On August 21, a special charter flight for select astronomy enthusiasts and eclipse chasers will allow passengers to see the eclipse from more than 35,000 feet above the earth. The flight will depart Portland at 7:30 a.m. and fly off the...
Celebrate Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary
Celebrate Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary

It is hard to believe, but it has been 20 years since the “The Boy Who Lived” first hit our bookshelves. The first Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,”which is  known as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the U.S., was published June 26, 1997. The anniversary is...
Dayton Air Show sees drop in attendance 
Dayton Air Show sees drop in attendance 

The Vectren Dayton Air Show brought thousands of spectators through the gates over the weekend, despite the cancellation of the Air Force Thunderbirds as the headline act. Official said approximately 44,000 people attended the air show, down 30 percent. Military jet teams like the Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels are the biggest draw for the air...
Michelle Obama appeared at the BET Awards and Twitter can't handle it
Michelle Obama appeared at the BET Awards and Twitter can't handle it

Former first lady Michelle Obama made a cameo appearance via video message at Sunday night’s BET Awards and Twitter is still overflowing with feelings. “Barack and I are so sorry that we can’t be there tonight in person,” she said as Chance The Rapper was honored with the Humanitarian Award, recognizing his activism...
$1M welfare fraud investigation ends in arrests, police say
$1M welfare fraud investigation ends in arrests, police say

A rabbi is among several people in New Jersey who were arrested Monday in raids by federal and state authorities in a multimillion-dollar welfare fraud investigation. >> Read more trending news Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin and seven others are being charged, accused of taking public assistance and defrauding the government of $1.3 million over recent...
More Stories