For release on May 2, 2014
Kimberly Connors, Deputy District Attorney
Real Estate Fraud Unit
CRAIGSLIST RENTAL SCAMMER CHARGED
A 47-year-old San Jose woman was charged this week with multiple counts of grand theft after renting out the same condominium to multiple tenants, and pocketing their deposits.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit arrested Monique Morris Thursday, charging her with three counts of grand theft, and a count of attempted grand theft. In custody for lack of $150,000 bail, Morris will be arraigned today, May 2, 2014 at 1:30 in Department 23 of the Hall of Justice. If convicted, she faces more than four years in custody.
“Everybody believes that you can find the best deal on the web,’’ prosecutor Kimberly Connors said. “If you use the Internet to find a rental property, use the Internet to check that it’s legitimate.” In March and April of 2014, Morris used Craigslist to advertise rooms or her entire condo for rent. Morris would give prospective tenants a tour of the condo located at 928 Catkin Court, in San Jose. They would then pay her the deposit and sign a lease. After Morris had their money, she would contact the next prospective tenant, and again enter into a lease and accept a deposit. When she was arrested on Thursday, three different couples had rented the same condo.
Faced with suspicious tenants, Morris did not return any of the thousands of dollars she received as deposits.
If you or someone you know tried to rent either a room at 928 Catkin Court, or the entire condo, please contact Santa Clara County District Attorney Investigator Tanaya Rose at (408) 792-2923.