Monday, December 19, 2016

Suspected Serial South Jersey Rent Scammer Gets Pinched Again For Alleged Break-Ins To Hijack Possession Of Vacant Homes In Foreclosure & Rent Them Out For Cash To Unwitting Tenants; Charges Include Theft By Deception, Deceptive Business Practices

In Gloucester County, New Jersey, reports:
  • A grand jury has indicted a Camden man on charges that he rented a Woodbury home he did not own to an unwitting tenant.

    This is one of several cases in which Raymond Erving, 41, is accused of breaking into homes in foreclosure and leasing them.

    Erving allegedly entered a Watkins Avenue home illegally in April, posed as the owner and leased the property to a woman who did not know about the scam, authorities claim.

    Erving drew up a lease for the property, police noted in their complaint, and the victim paid him rent to live in the home.

    In May, Monroe Township Police arrested Erving, who also uses the name Levar Michael Taylor, on charges that he pulled similar scams at two homes in that community.

    In those cases, utilities were illegally turned back on in the homes and winterization stickers placed on the closed-up properties were scraped off, police said. Erving then posed as an agent to lease those homes.

    He allegedly received more than $12,000 from people leasing the homes for cash in Monroe Township, police said at the time.

    Authorities became aware of the alleged crimes when neighbors called to report squatters in the foreclosed homes. When officers came to investigate, the residents showed them the bogus lease agreements.

    Erving was charged with two counts of burglary, theft by deception, identity theft, forgery, criminal mischief and failure to register as a sex offender following that investigation.

    Monroe Police indicated that they believed he had pulled similar scams in Mount Holly, Pennsauken, Willingboro and other South Jersey towns.

    In the Woodbury case, a Gloucester County grand jury indicted Erving on charges of third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree deceptive business practices.

    Erving is currently free on bail.

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