Sun Sentinel Columnist
5:26 PM EST, January 30, 2013
Talk about disappointing. I went to check out Loki Boy's crib – the $2.5 million Boca Raton foreclosed mansion invaded by 23-year-old Brazilian squatter Andre Barbosa – and the waterfront pool deck was empty.
No bikini-clad women partying. Nobody chugging caipirinhas and beer bongs. Nobody grilling steaks on the stainless-steel barbeque, living the good life and laughing all the way to Bank of America.
Just a nasty-looking pool, with brackish-greenish water I wouldn't want to frolic in.
As I stood there on Wednesday, peering into the windows and seeing no furnishings or signs of life, two things crossed my mind:
1. If I broke into the bank-owned house and tried to stake my own "adverse possession" claim, could Barbosa legally shoot me under Florida's castle doctrine law?
2. The only thing missing from this scene was the perfect piece of art, the backyard sculpture that once greeted boaters on the Intracoastal from pornographer Al Goldstein's Pompano Beach mansion: A giant middle finger.
Barbosa has flipped the bird to convention and America's financial giants with his actions, apparently moving into the home in December and filing notice that he wanted to claim the deed through an archaic Florida law. He has gotten international attention and spawned copycats since my colleague Anne Geggis broke the story.
In a way, you almost have to admire Barbosa's audacity. How do you say chutzpah in Portuguese?
But then you feel for the neighbors, who certainly don't deserve this circus on their block.
"I'm over it," said one resident of Golden Harbour Drive, bemoaning the reporters and other gawkers who have made the home South Florida's latest tourist attraction. "Supposedly he was served [an eviction notice] earlier."
The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office confirmed Barbosa was served with legal documents Wednesday following Bank of America's civil suit against him last week. It's unclear how long the eviction process might take.
This much is clear: Barbosa has gained a cult following.
Wrote one Facebook admirer: "If you pull this move off right, there will be a book deal and movie for ya…then you can get the best of mansions…You not only roll hard, you roll big!"
Nobody answered the door when I dropped by, and Barbosa's one-page note laying claim to the "Divine Estate" has been removed. Someone with Barbosa's name has taken to posting Zen-like sayings on Facebook.
"Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail," the Facebook Barbosa wrote Tuesday.
From Monday: "Don't find fault, find a remedy."
From Jan. 26: "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible.' "
Barbosa's stunt was made possible by the real estate meltdown that has left banks holding onto a glut of abandoned and foreclosed homes. The previous owner, a finance/real estate executive, bought the place for $3.1 million in 2005 but lost the home after a divorce. Under adverse possession, a squatter can claim a property if they live there for seven years and pay taxes on it.
Somehow I don't think Barbosa will be able to pull it off. The 2012 tax bill for the mansion: $39,000.
For that kind of dough, Loki Boy could get a place the old-fashioned way: By actually buying it.
But that's so 20th century. And so un-South Florida.
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