Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homeless Man Scores Temporary Stay In Daytona Beach Jail After Being Pinched For Allegedly Using Vacant Foreclosed Home In Craigslist Rent Scam Ripoff

In Ormond Beach, Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports:

  • A homeless man used Craigslist to illegally collect more than $1,000 renting out a foreclosed home he didn't own in Ormond Beach, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

  • "The man's new income stream came to an abrupt end Sunday," agency spokesman Brandon Haught wrote. "Eric Sisson …now has a place to stay in the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach where he faces seven criminal charges."

  • The case began last month when a 19-year-old Daytona Beach woman answered a Craigslist ad to rent the house on Arroyo Parkway. She toured the home and later met Sisson on June 25 and gave him a $400 cash deposit, followed the next day with $550 more in cash, records show.

  • Later, she became suspicious, requested the return of her money and was given a check by Sisson that bounced at the bank, records show. By then, a 29-year-old Ormond Beach woman already had moved into the house after giving Sisson a $425 deposit, records show.

  • When the women contacted authorities, deputies contacted the house's owner in Port Orange who said she didn't know Sisson and hadn't given anyone permission to rent the house that was in foreclosure, records show.

  • On Sunday, Sisson, 27, returned to the house to collect remaining rent and was arrested by deputies. At first, he claimed to own the three-bedroom home but then admitted "he had scammed the victims because ... he needed the money he took to get a place to live."

  • Sisson remains jailed on charges of obtaining property by fraud, uttering a worthless check, three counts of unarmed burglary and two counts of grand theft. Deputies also learned he had outstanding warrants in Brevard County for worthless checks and driving with a suspended license, as well as in Indiana for forgery and grand theft.

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