Woman Charged with Grand Theft in Craigslist Rental Scam
By Mario Sevilla
Fri May 2nd, 2014 6:11pm America/Los_Angeles
SAN JOSE (KRON) — A South Bay woman was charged Friday with scamming thousands of dollars from victims who answered her Craigslist ad to rent a condominium in San Jose.
Monique Geraldine Morris, 47, of San Jose, was arraigned in Superior Court on three counts of grand theft and one count of attempted grand theft, Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Conners said.
Morris was arrested Thursday by the district attorney’s office and remains in custody at the Elmwood Correctional Facility for Women in Milpitas on $150,000 bail, according to Conners said.
Investigators said that Morris used Craigslist to offer rooms in her condominium or the entire unit for rent between March and April this year. The condominium is at 928 Catkin Court in a tree-lined complex in San Jose.
She would give prospective renters a tour of the condo, then get them to sign a lease and leave a deposit of about $2,000, Conners said.
“The ad would stay up and she’d turn around and sign another person up,” Conners said.
At least three couples gave Morris their deposits but she never returned the money, Conners said.
The alleged victims lodged complaints with the district attorney’s office’s real estate fraud unit.
Morris was the legal owner of the condominium, Conners said.
If she is convicted of the four felony charges, Morris faces four years in prison, she said.
The district attorney’s office is asking others who tried to rent a room or the whole condominium from Morris to notify investigator Tanaya Rose at (408) 792-2923.