Buying or renting a home is a commonly celebrated feat. Being responsible enough and financially stable enough to be a homeowner is something society celebrates and respects. But while there are those who are responsible and financially sound enough to purchase or rent their own home, you can also find those still saving up, living at home, or splitting the cost of living with multiple others. Of course, there are also those unable to afford any kind of living space at all.With many foreclosed, vacant and/or abandoned properties out there, a select few are taking advantage of the situation.
Housing Scam Leads to Arrests
Recently, 12 individuals were arrested for their part in a countywide housing scam in New Jersey. These dozen people unlawfully occupied numerous foreclosed and vacant homes. One of them, a Water Works employee illegally turned on utilities for those who were occupying the home.According to officials, these scammers would locate vacant homes and break in. After changing the locks and having the utilities illegally turned on, they would create fake leases and move themselves in or rent out the place to unsuspecting individuals. The scammers would be discovered when property managers or bank inspectors would stop by to show or examine the property. Even after police showed up, legal-looking leases and cash receipts for rent would be shown and who had the actual right to be there needed to be determined.Scammers Facing Jail TimeThe state of New Jersey has many laws in place with severe penalties for crimes like the ones committed by the dozen scammers. These people are being charged with third and fourth-degree offenses. A third-degree crime can carry a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of $15,000 dollars.One of the 12 arrested even went as far as creating a fraudulent lease. They had used the name of the previous owner as the renter and provided false information in a motion to obtain an order signed by a judge.Criminal Defense Attorneys Represent Those in New JerseyWhen it comes to criminal charges, whether federal or state crimes, an experienced criminal defense attorney is your best bet. If you are facing criminal charges in Trenton, New Jersey, the Davis Law Firm, LLC, is where you should turn for legal aid.They have a solid reputation as skilled advocates and will relentlessly pursue justice for you. Contact them today at 609-587-9100 to set up a free initial consultation.The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.