Alfonso J. Salazar of California has been arrested for fraudulently renting out numerous empty foreclosed (and/or unoccupied) homes in the California cities of Brentwood, Antioch, Walnut Creek, and Hercules, to unsuspecting victims. It is estimated that there are more than 20 victims who fell prey to Salazar's fraudulent rental scheme. In each case, Salazar searched for empty foreclosed homes in Contra Costa County, Calif., where he would post a note on the door claiming ownership unless someone objects. He changed the locks and would post an ad on Craigslist to rent the house. Salazar claimed the property was owned by the National Alliance of Homeowners for Justice. Renters would receive a lease which claimed the Alliance was the lessor.
Salazar formerly worked for Countrywide Mortgage, and he was a licensed real estate agent from 2007-2011. The District Attorney has charged Salazar with numerous counts of grand theft, perjury and burglary.
"This office will prosecute anyone who defrauds renters, homeowners, and banks in this type of organized criminal scheme," said Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark A. Peterson. "The innocent people who answer the Craigslist ads lose their rental money to these con artists who prey upon the unsuspecting."