PTAA Members – Corporate Housing Scam Update

This is an update on a scam we notified members of two weeks ago:

On April 24, 2012 we sent PTAA members an alert about a scam involving the fraudulent use of a corporate name (Brighter Hope) and tax ID number to rent corporate units and then sublet them via online advertisements. Today we learned more details that you should be aware of:

  • There are known cases of this happening in Lexington, High Point and Winston-Salem.
  • There is a felony warrant out for the person responsible and here are the names/aliases he’s using that we’ve heard of:
    • First names: Cory (or Corey), Sean (or Shawn), Greg
    • Last names: Washington, Gissentamer
  • He had a girlfriend involved who was arrested by the Lexington police.  Before she was caught she advertised at least one apartment online using the alias of “Linda.”
  • In an interesting side note, she was able to fraudulently rent a washer and dryer and have them delivered to her unit using the same corporate ID, so all suppliers should keep an eye out as well.
  • The detective in Lexington who arrested “Linda” and took out the warrant on Washington/Gissentamer is Det. Shuler, and he can be reached at 336-243-3313.
  • If you are contacted by Washington/Gissentamer you should contact the police in your jurisdiction and inform them that you are dealing with him and let them know that there is a felony warrant out for his arrest.
  • In at least one case Washington/Gissentamer did pay rent for several months, but stopped when his scheme came to light while still collecting rent from his victims.

Finally, one recommendation the police made was to always search online listings for your community’s name and address to insure that any listings you find are legitimate; pay particular attention to Craigslist.

Please feel free to contact PTAA if you have any questions, or if you have any information to share.