Idaho resident Ashley Nicole Vidrine has been accused of fraudulently advertising a rental property and accepting money from interested prospective tenants while having no intention of renting to them.
Though Vidrine and her husband reside in the townhouse she had listed as available for rent, police estimated she allegedly accepted down payments for the property nearing $3000 since the start of their investigation in early September. When would-be tenants who paid her went to view the property they found no one available, and Vidrine was unable to be reached by telephone. It is unknown at this time whether or not her husband was also a part of the hoax.
Police took 25-year-old Vidrine into custody on Thursday and she faces multiple charges including felony grand theft by deception, and felony computer crime for “Use of a computer or network to obtain money by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises or committing theft.” In addition, Vidrine is charged with one count of misdemeanor petty theft. She is being held in Madison County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Police Captain Randy Lewis announced that there were four victims known at this time. Investigators intend to continue seeking other victims of the scam, as they posit that some people conned may have refrained from filing a complaint due to feeling ashamed for falling prey to this type of hoax.
Thus far none of the victims have been reimbursed for their payments. Lewis also stated that while rental fraud has occurred in the area before, this is the first time it has happened to this extent.
If you or someone you love is suspected of theft crimes, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.