Ex-Broker Charged In Rental Scam

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami Lakes man is accused of pulling a fast one and pocketing thousands from a potential renter looking for an apartment.

Adolfo Vega, 31, who had an expired real estate license, placed ads on Craigslist for rental properties, according to investigators. Vega would then obtain the properties’ lockbox combinations for keys through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

When interested victims contact him, he provides them with an address and the combination to the lockboxes, and has the victims view the property on their own.

Krystale Santiago, 26, said after she saw a property, she agreed to pay the monthly rental fee of $1150.00. Vega reportedly told her that if she wanted lease it, she would have to pay three months of rent – first, last and security – for a total of $3450. She did.

Vega then gave the company handling the property $1150.00 and kept the rest for himself, according to his arrest affidavit.

Three days after Santiago moved in, she was contacted by the listing agent who said she had only received the first month’s rent. When they both couldn’t reach Vega, they called police.

During questioning, Vega reportedly told police he didn’t know why he kept the money and was embarrassed by his actions. He was arrested and charged with one county of grand theft.

Police believe there may be other victims of Vega who have not come forward. They are urged to contact Detective M. Fluty of the Northwest District at (305) 698-1500.

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