News website www.local10.com reports that a Miami woman was arrested this week, accused of stealing thousands of dollars from people to whom she rented homes that did not belong to her.
According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, the accused faces grand theft charges. Based on the evidence, I believe that this woman will be charged with organized scheme to defraud as well.
Prosecutors said that the accused woman identified other people's unoccupied homes and put "for rent" signs with her contact information in front of them.
The woman is accused of putting herself out in the public as the president of a property management company. While acting in this capacity, the accused allegedly pretended to be acting on behalf of homeowners when she rented the properties to tenants, according to investigators.
It is alleged that the accused woman collected thousands of dollars in rent from the tenants, without the tenants realizing she lacked the authority to do so and without the homeowners knowing what was going on, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
Reports indicate that the accused had been arrested in a similar scheme in 2010.
Given the amount of the purported theft, the accused woman faces 30 years in prison because the charge is grand theft in the first degree.
For more information on the degrees of grand theft in the State of Florida, click here.
Rental property schemes are common in South Florida. As a criminal defense attorney, I represent clients who have been accused of fraudulent conduct. Being accused of fraud can be damaging to both your reputation and your business. It can also land you in prison for a long time, as you can see by the statutory maximum penalties associated with grand theft.
If you or a loved one are facing charges related to fraud or theft, call me to discuss your case.