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Con artist Victor Clavizzao sneaks to Ohio, takes bride No. 5

For mortgage fraud, Victor Clavizzao is to serve five years.

For mortgage fraud, Victor Clavizzao is to serve five years.

On June 11, a nicely dressed, middle-aged couple from Florida walked into the courthouse in Lisbon, Ohio, and applied for a marriage license.

She listed her occupation as "marketing and sales" and said she was divorced. He said he worked in "finance'' and swore under oath that he had never been wed.

As it turns out, the bride-to-be was Jacqueline Dean, a registered sex offender whose former husband killed her lover with a samurai sword in Brandon two years ago. And the groom was convicted mortgage fraudster Victor Clavizzao, prison-bound and about to get married for a fifth time without having divorced wives No. 1 and 4.

"Are you kidding me!'' Deputy Clerk Jane Wilson exclaimed Tuesday when she learned that Dean and Clavizzao were not the typical couple getting hitched in the traditional marriage month of June.

As the St. Petersburg Times has reported, Clavizzao served several years for fraud and grand theft before moving to Pinellas County in 2005 and working as a mortgage loan officer at the height of the subprime lending frenzy.

Using straw buyers and false income figures, he arranged loans on at least 18 houses, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in loan proceeds while scamming lenders out of $5 million.

In April, a federal judge in Tampa sentenced Clavizzao to five years in prison for mortgage fraud, but allowed him to remain free while the Bureau of Prisons decided where he would serve his time. Among the conditions for release: that he not leave the bay area without the court's permission.

Clavizzao never got permission. But that didn't stop him and Dean, 45, from heading to Lisbon (population 3,000) and applying for a license at the Court of Common Pleas for Columbiana County in eastern Ohio.

Because they were from out of state, the clerk's office called Tampa to verify that Dean was divorced on Nov. 6 from Willie Tarpley Jr. as she stated on the application.

Dean and Tarpley made headlines in 1988 when they kidnapped a nude dancer, glued her eyes and genitalia shut, and tattooed a four-letter word on her forehead. They served about 10 years and were classified as sex offenders.

After their release, Dean, a former bodybuilding champion, took up with a much younger ranch hand who was also a registered sex offender. Tarpley, upset that the man was spending time around his and Dean's two small children, stabbed him to death with a 42-inch sword and was sent back to prison for 40 years.

The Ohio court didn't check on Clavizzao's marital status because on the box marked "previously married'' and "number of times,'' he put down "None.''

The couple were issued the county's 250th marriage license of the year and got married the same day.

Pinellas records show Clavizzao is seeking a divorce from his fourth wife, Angel, whom he wed in 2007. He was first married in 1986 and two subsequent marriages — in '94 and '98 — were annulled because he had never divorced his first wife.

Columbiana, site of wedding No. 5, is popular with bigamists.

"It's our location — we're at the juncture of three states,'' said Marilyn Smith, chief deputy clerk. "It's very easy to get married in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, not get a divorce, and cross into Ohio and lie under oath that you were never married before.''

Clavizzao's latest marriage might have gone unnoticed if a tipster hadn't e-mailed the Times with a link to a marriage announcement on the Internet site of a local newspaper.

"If I can find a pending divorce, that will show he's guilty of bigamy and perjury here, so I want to bring this to the attention of our judge,'' Smith said.

The likely penalty would be a fine.

Under his bond conditions, Clavizzao was ordered to "not commit a federal, state or local crime during the period of release'' or risk being reincarcerated until he is assigned to a permanent facility.

Clavizzao didn't respond to a request for comment, but he is back in St. Petersburg in a house bought in his father's name.

It has been in foreclosure for almost two years.

Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at

Con artist Victor Clavizzao sneaks to Ohio, takes bride No. 5 06/23/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 27, 2009 11:28am]
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