Most real estate scams we’ve covered on this site focus on an agent or other criminal behaving badly. On some occasions, we see a team or a big group in on the fraud. This is the first time, though, that we’ve seen a mother-son duo scam team.
Lisa Smith and her son Kristian “Frank” Edmonds have been hard at work in South New Jersey trying to make a living. How they are making a living, though, is a whole different story. The pair has been busy selling and renting out foreclosed properties. This seems like a good business on the surface. It all falls apart when we find out that Smith and Edmonds did not own or have any rights to sell or lease the properties they showed to their victims.
More than twenty victims have come forward and identified the scam team behind the fraudulent sales and rentals. The pair gained access to lockboxes or had doors rekeyed to give the impression that their access to the properties was legitimate.
One victim handed Smith a $27,500 check to be used as a down payment for a home in Sicklerville. Another gave $18,000 as a down payment for a home in Camden. Another Sicklerville victim handed over $3,000 to the pair.
Smith was a licensed real estate agent, but has since had her license revoked in 2010. In the years since, she put that knowledge to work as a fraudster. The pair worked under at least four business names and have been charged with third-degree theft and burglary.
For the entire story, see New Jersey 101.5.
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