Family: Mentally-ill man was swindled out of deed to home for $10

(NBC) - Relatives of a mentally ill Boca Raton, FL, resident are upset after he handed over the deed of his house to his neighbors for $10.

They say their cousin, who suffers from a paranoia disorder, was taken advantage of.

The attorney for the neighbors says he can't talk about what he calls a valid deal, but the man's family certainly isn't biting their tongue.

"They got something for nothing off a sick man," said Keith Costello by phone.

Costello lives in Portland. He says his cousin Michael Dever, who suffers from delusions and paranoia, handed over the last thing he had.

"They gained his confidence enough for him in the state of psychosis to sign his house over to them for 10 bucks," Costello says.

He says his cousin flew to Maine the day the deed was signed, June 17, but never told him what he had done. He would only say he was scared and needed to leave Florida.

"He was in fear he was completely confused," Costello says.

A week after arriving Dever attempted suicide and was placed in a mental hospital. He was diagnosed with psychosis with delusional paranoia.

It wasn't until later, after Dever had months of therapy and medication, that Costello learned of his cousin's deal.

"Nobody knew this was going on, that house was paid off, he owned it outright, there was no money owed on it and now he has absolutely nothing," Costello says.

According to Costello the property appraised for $64,000.

Neighbors blame it on Dever.

"He's the one that made the arrangements, he got the attorney, ask them!" one of neighbors yelled when asked to comment.

Costello says it doesn't take a genius to look at such a deal and raise an eyebrow.

He says selling his cousin's home could have helped pay for his much needed health care and a new place to live.

"He faces a lifetime of anti-psychotic medication and continued care that we don't know how we are going to pay for."

Michael Dever is out of the mental hospital but is staying in a room the size of a college dormitory at a YMCA in Maine.

His cousin says they are seeking legal help but say affording it will be difficult.

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