Evicted tenant arrested for rental scam in North Lauderdale
A woman, who was going to be evicted from her house for not paying her rent, turned her eviction into a money-making scam. Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives have identified three victims, but they fear there could be more.
Kerrian McKenzie had been living at a rental property at 8151 SW 3 Court in North Lauderdale since April without paying rent. When the landlord gave her a final notice to pay or she was going to be evicted, she told him she was moving to Port St. Lucie. Unbeknownst to the landlord, McKenzie schemed to use his property in a scam. In August, she posted an add on Craig’s List saying the property was for rent. At least three victims made arrangements to meet with McKenzie to view the property. She was offering the home for $1,150 a month and asked for a $2,300 deposit. The property would be move-in-ready in late August.
At least three victims agreed to the rental. Jim Etienne, 23, actually knew the suspect. He had worked with her for three years at a company that relocated at the beginning of the year. He gave McKenzie a $1,000 deposit and was supposed to move in on Aug. 22. When he realized he had been scammed he reported the incident to BSO.
Nadia Sol, 32, gave McKenzie a partial deposit of $1,700 on Aug. 27 and obtained a key to the apartment. The next day Nadia went by the property, but her key didn’t work. She made contact with two construction workers who were on site making repairs and they gave her the name and phone number of the property owner. The owner notified Nadia that McKenzie didn’t own the home and didn’t have permission to sublet it. He also told her that the property had been sold.
Tenille Edwards Hosten, 31, gave McKenzie a $400 deposit and was scheduled to move in on Aug. 27. Edwards learned the property had been sold through an Internet search. She contacted the new owner who told Edwards other people had called with the same situation.
BSO Detectives arrested Kerrian McKenzie, Wednesday (Sept. 17) on three charges of grand theft. During an interview with detectives she confessed to the crime. She was released on bond Thursday, Sept. 16.
Anyone who believes they’ve been a victim of McKenzie is asked to contact BSO Detective Steve Murley at or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS or www.browardcrimestoppers.org.
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