Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pair Cop Guilty Pleas For Hijacking Possession Of Vacant Homes In Foreclosure, Then Pocketing Cash By Renting Them Out To Unwitting Renters

In Barstow, California, the Desert Dispatch reports:

  • A Barstow woman is set to be sentenced in April after she pleaded guilty to renting out several houses going through foreclosure in 2010. Evelyn Thompson, 51, pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery and a trespassing charge [] in Barstow Superior Court. The other defendant in the case, Edward Tofoya, 54, pleaded guilty to unauthorized entry of property the same day.

  • Thompson was arrested in March 2010 after police learned she was renting five Barstow homes in 2010. Tenants of the homes told police Thompson would pose as the property manager and offer the homes for rent with no credit check under the alias Deborah Anderson. Tofoya was Thompson’s handyman, who police said they found changing locks on one of the homes. At the time Thompson worked at Exit Strategy Realty in Barstow, but was fired after her boss learned of her actions.

  • Thompson was convicted for renting four homes illegally, charging between $500 and $1,300 rent, said Deputy District Attorney Joel Buckingham. Most of the tenants had only recently moved in, he said. There were other homes she was trying to rent but was found out before any leases were signed.

  • Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced April 9, where she should receive 180 days in prison per her plea deal, Buckingham said. She could have faced a maximum of three years, eight months for her charges. Thompson will also be responsible for paying restitution to the tenants, the amount of which is still being determined, Buckingham said.

  • Tofoya received no jail time due to credit for time served. He owes about $200 in fees to the court.

Source: Two convicted in housing scam (Woman rented out homes going through foreclosure).

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