Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cops Nab Renter In Alleged Vacant Foreclosed Home Hijacking Racket; Suspect Invokes 'Unwitting Dupe' Defense; 'I Had No Idea!'

In DeKalb County, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 reports:

  • A man, who told Channel 2 Action News he was an unsuspecting victim, is now under arrest. Prosecutors said Matthew Lowery posed as a renter, in a scheme to steal empty houses.

  • DeKalb County deputies had been looking for Lowery since a grand jury indicted him three weeks ago. They found him Monday night living at a Staybridge Suites motel in Sandy Springs. "I'm worried. I mean yeah I've invested money in this and this is my home," Lowery told investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer in August. Fleischer found Lowery living in a $600,000 home on Shade Tree Way in Cumming. The home was owned by a bank, and prosecutors said it was vacant until a woman named Susan Weidman took it over.

  • An indictment alleges she created a bogus lease for Lowery to live there. A DeKalb grand jury indicted Weidman, Lowery, and another renter, Ian Greye, for racketeering. "If you know someone has stolen a house, has misappropriated property, then you should not participate by staying there even if they tell you that it's okay," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said.


  • Prosecutors said Weidman was the ringleader and filed bogus paperwork to take over the houses, before placing Greye and Lowery in them.

For more, see Man who claimed he was victim, arrested in house-stealing scheme.

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