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SJ Agent Guilty Of Running Vacant Home Rental Scam On Craigslist

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James Wilson was arrested on alleged rental fraud in Santa Clara County (Santa Clara County DA)

James Wilson was arrested on alleged rental fraud in Santa Clara County (Santa Clara County DA)

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SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A San Jose real estate agent has been found guilty of grand theft in connection with a real estate scheme that left many local renters without a place to live.

KPIX 5 has learned that James Troy Wilson will be ordered to serve a year in county jail and pay restitution to people who were duped into renting properties that he didn’t own.

In 2011, Wilson operated a scheme where he took over foreclosed properties, made false claims of ownership on Craigslist and then took thousands of dollars from unsuspecting renters, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigators said Wilson, 46, was also linked to similar activity in San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties.

“This whole situation has been stressful to me and my children, not knowing if we were going to get kicked out of our house,” said victim Dixie Tribble, who rented a home in Los Gatos from Wilson, and had police come to her door accusing of her trespassing. “It scared my children to death.”

In a number of cases, prosecutors said the owners of the properties actually called the police on the renters, not realizing that they were also victims of the scam.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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