(1) It is unlawful for any person, with intent to defraud the owner of real property, to engage in equity skimming, which is, to:
(a) Purchase, within a 3-year period, two or more single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, three-family dwellings, or four-family dwellings, or a combination thereof, that are subject to a loan that is in default at the time of purchase or within 1 year after the time of purchase, which loan is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust;
(b) Fail to make payments under the mortgage or deed of trust as the payments become due, regardless of whether the purchaser is obligated on the loan; and
(c) Apply, or authorize the application of, rents from such dwellings for the person’s own use.
(2) A violation of subsection (1) constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.