BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — It wasn’t until a sheriff’s deputy knocked on the door with an eviction notice that Megan Llewallyn had any idea there was a problem.
She found the Barrow County home for rent on Facebook, toured it and filled out an application.
“He gave me the key and the garage door opener, and we moved in that weekend.” Llewallyn said
It was several weeks later that a Barrow County deputy knocked on the door and served papers for eviction.
“The deputy said you’re going to have to respond in 7 days or we’re putting your things in the yard,” Llewallyn said.
When Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray went looking for answers from the couple Llewallyn rented from, he found someone else entirely at what he thought was their Gwinnett County home.
Instead of the people who took Llewallyn’s money, Ibrahim Ali and Shaheda Mohammed, it was another apparent victim of the same rental fraud scheme who answered the door.
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That woman told Gray she had also been served with eviction papers and had paid Ali and Mohammed thousands of dollars in rent for a property they did not actually own.
Turns out for both houses, the alleged landlords do not own the homes. The large corporations who do never got a dime of the rent.
We learned that in Gwinnett County, Ibrahim Ali was charged with theft by taking last fall.
Megan Llewallyn said she paid deposits and January and February rent through Zelle to Ali. She even got an invoice from what now appears to be a fictitious company, Tristate Property Management.
Her attorney just served the alleged landlords with a civil fraud suit.
“Right now, we’re looking to find more people that have been victim to this scam, because we think there are more out there,” attorney Jeffrey Jackson said.
“You don’t know which way to turn, you don’t know who is the bad person in it,” Llewallyn said.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to Tricon Residential, who actually owns the Barrow County home.
A spokesperson tells us the company did not even know Llewallyn was living in the home.
Tricon is now working with her on a legitimate lease to stay in the house.