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San Jose Woman Charged With Pocketing Deposits From Renters Who Answered Craigslist Ad

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Monique Morris

Monique Geraldine Morris. (CBS/Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office)

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A 47-year-old woman was charged Friday with pocketing the deposits of people who answered her Craigslist ad to rent her condominium in San Jose, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Monique Geraldine Morris was arraigned in Superior Court in San Jose on three counts of grand theft and one count of attempted grand theft, Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Conners said.

Morris was arrested Thursday by the district attorney’s office and remains in custody at the Elmwood Correctional Facility for Women in Milpitas on $150,000 bail, according to Conners said.

According to prosecutors, Morris used Craigslist to offer rooms in her condominium or the entire unit for rent. The condominium is at 928 Catkin Court in a tree-lined complex in San Jose.

She would give prospective renters a tour of the condo, then get them to sign a lease and leave a deposit of about $2,000, Conners said.

“The ad would stay up and she’d turn around and sign another person up,” Conners said.

At least three couples gave her their deposits, including one that handed it to her in cash, but she never returned the money to them, Conners said.

The alleged victims lodged complaints with the district attorney’s office’s real estate fraud unit.

Morris was the legal owner of the condominium, Conners said.

If she is convicted of the four felony charges, Morris faces four years in prison, she said.

The district attorney’s office is asking others who tried to rent a room or the whole condominium from Morris to notify investigator Tanaya Rose at (408) 792-2923.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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