A Seattle woman faces felony charges alleging shefor five years.
Local online news site Seattle PI reports that 58-year-old Jessica Carde is still at large while facing 12 felony counts from the King County Prosecutors Office.
How, exactly, did her alleged scheme work? According to the news site, "Carde presented herself as a well-to-do business owner with a significant line of credit who was interested in buying a home. ... But when the time came to make a down payment, Carde claimed to have had her identity stolen before pushing toward a lease-purchase agreement.
"Lease-purchase agreementsalso known as rent-to-buy plansallow a would-be buyer to make payments to the homeowner overtime," the site continued. "After the agreed amount of money is paid, the home is signed over to the tenant."
as engaging in "deceptive retaliatory acts against the homeowner to prevent or delay eviction."
A 2010 investigation by MSNBC found that , including Seattle. The problem is that with so many homes in foreclosure thanks to the economic downturn, property managers are often unable to closely monitor the homes under their jurisdiction.
Carde, who reportedly presented falsified paperwork showing she was pre-qualified for a mortgage, had fake business cards that contained a mouthful of supposed expertise. She described her professional duties as international speaker, trainer and consultant, personal/professional/executive life coach, neurobiofeedback technician/brain wave specialist, mediation specialist, health educator and instructor.
makes the stories of her fraudulent ways all the more shocking.
The weekly reported that, according to Department of Financial Institutions investigator Steven Sherman, Carde supposedly convinced some private lenders into giving her large sums of money that she used to support her lifestyle and maintain the illusion that she was wealthy."
In some cases, Carde made installment payments with the homeowners, but did so while planning to balk on the actual amount owed.
And she got even more malicious: When the rightful homeowners attempted to evict Carde, she allegedly made false claims against them, filing police reports that accused them of threatening Cardes life.
Worst of all, Carde may have risked the health of one of her victims. In 2010, she presented herself as a brain wave specialist to one of her creditors, saying she could provide medical assistance to the man, who had suffered a stroke.
She said she could cure (him) with brain wires and convinced his wife to let her try, Sherman told the court when charges were filed on March 11. Carde placed electrodes on (his) head to blast the clot away.
Carde is accused of presenting false credit lines, squatting and then ducking out on her debts after being evicted more than half a dozen times. Prosecutors hope to place her on a $150,000 bond, but they have to bring the elusive would-be-homeowner in to authorities first.