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A San Jose real estate agent was convicted of grand theft in connection with an elaborate home rental scam dating back to 2011, a deputy district attorney said today. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office received dozens of complaints about the scam in which James Troy Wilson, 46, located vacant homes, changed the locks, made minor repairs and rented them online, Deputy District Attorney David Lim said.
The district attorney’s office filed charges on three homes in Santa Clara County, and one other in San Joaquin County, Lim said. Wilson is also believed to be affiliated with more than one rental scam in Contra Costa County, but wasn’t convicted, Lim said. The scam led renters to believe that Wilson was the owner of the property and, in some cases, the actual tenants of the home walked in on the faux renters, Lim said.
The police then got involved, needing to evict the residents, causing hardships to all involved, Lim said. Lim said there is still an ongoing investigation into a number of rental scams but couldn’t divulge any additional information.
As part of a plea deal, Wilson was convicted of grand theft and will serve a year in county jail and pay an undisclosed amount of restitution to the victims, Lim said. The prosecution was handled in collaboration of Santa Clara, Contra Costa and San Joaquin county district attorney’s offices. Wilson’s sentencing is scheduled for April 26.
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