COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A judge ordered a Cobb county woman to spend 20 years in prison for stealing houses.
Susan Weidman has been the subject of Channel 2 Action News investigations for several years.
Prosecutors said Weidman and accomplice Matthew Lowery moved into foreclosed homes and took possession of the property using illegal methods. A jury convicted Weidman of three RICO violations and Lowery of two.
Weidman’s attorney argued it was her first conviction and it was a victimless crime but Judge A. Gregory Poole did not agree. Poole also chastised Weidman for her casual demeanor before sentencing.
“If I were in front of a superior court judge getting ready to be sentenced on two counts of RICO, there wouldn’t be a smile or a glimmer on my face of a smile. I’d be so scared that I don’t know that I could stand there,” Poole said. “You were sitting there joking and smiling and I was watching you the whole time and I don’t think you get it. I just don’t.
Weidman pleaded for leniency in her sentencing, saying she had an 82-year-old mother who needs help.
The judge noted that she never took responsibility for her situation like Lowery did. Lowery received a lesser sentence of 10 years in prison.
A Channel 2 investigation as early as May 2011 revealed a bogus court document Weidman was accused of filing, claiming a home on Champlain Street in Decatur was abandoned and that she owned it. It was actually a foreclosure owned by Chase Bank.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer first started investigating Weidman in 2010, after Weidman allegedly canceled her own mortgage to try to stop the bank from foreclosing on her home.
The fraudulent paperwork created several years of delay, but a Cobb County grand jury ended up indicting Weidman.
After seeing that investigation, the bank's Realtors for the DeKalb and Forsyth homes contacted Fleischer, to help piece together Weidman's documents by comparing signatures and following the paper trail.
All of the cases were rolled into one trial in Cobb County.
“Ms. Weidman, as the ringleader, brought a lot of pain to a lot of people. You see a pattern of activity over several years in which Ms. Weidman refuses to get it,” said Deputy Chief ADA John Melvin.
In January, a Kennesaw father and son indicted in the same case pleaded guilty. Giulio Glenn Greye, 61, and Ian Greye,34, were each sentenced to serve two years in prison.