Scam leaves 'K9 Pets 4 Deserving Vets' in limbo | News

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Scam leaves 'K9 Pets 4 Deserving Vets' in limbo


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jack Jennings, 68, served during the Vietnam War and has a heart for veterans returning from the front lines overseas.

He's the founder of the non-profit K9 Pets 4 Deserving Vets.

"That's what I'm doing here, helping vets for free, that's what this organization is set up to do," said Jennings.

He said he found the ideal property in Middleburg and paid $60,000 at a public auction at the Clay County Courthouse.

"They had 300 homes that day," he said. "I had been watching this home because I wanted to turn it into a dog retreat."

He was determined and thought he had struck the deal of a lifetime.

"I'd go down there every week to see if it was for sale and I caught it," he said. "This guy knew I was coming in there. M.Patel is his name."

When the bank rejected his cash offer, M. Patel told him he could help, Jennings said.

"He said I can get this house for seven percent, saving me ten thousand (dollars)," said Jennings. "I believe I had seen him there before."

Jennings met Patel offsite, away from the courthouse, and gave him $60,100 cash. Jennings said he was given a receipt and he subsequently moved into the property.

"I'm sitting here waiting and waiting for a some kind of binder from the courthouse," he said. "I was waiting for a warranty deed."

When there was no warranty deed, Jennings said he went to the courthouse and that's when he discovered the bank still owned the property, and there was no record of his purchase.

"My heart sunk," he said.

Shortly after, he received a letter from a law firm representing the bank, giving him 90 days to move. He has since hired an attorney, who told him the opposite.

"She said, 'Don't move. Don't do anything," said Jennings.

A spokesperson for the Green Cove Springs Police Department said there's an active investigation and they're trying to track down the suspect. They're reviewing the videotapes from the auction.

"I need help, I need help," said Jennings. "I need prayers, I don't know what is going to happen."

Jennings said his first set of dogs is set to arrive next week, but everything remains in limbo.

"It is destroying a dream; I just want to be able to get these dogs trained," he said.

Jennings is banking on police to catch the person who scammed him and hoping his attorney can save the property.

He said he's determined to keep the property in his hands; he's already made $12,000 worth of renovations. But his ultimate goal is to provide pets to deserving vets.


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