Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have charged Sherrie Hackett, 42, of Bowie and Julia Turner, 50, of District Heights in connection with fraudulently renting homes. Both women targeted people who were looking for homes to rent. They contacted prospective renters – either in person or via the internet – and pretended to be representatives of the homeowner. They looked for renters who had bad credit or no credit and indicated they could get them in a rental home without a credit check. The only stipulation was the renters would have to pay in cash and give at least two months’ rent up front, in addition to a security deposit. From that point, the renters contacted the suspects on a monthly basis and paid rent in cash or money orders.
Since March of this year, two families signed paperwork with the women, thinking the papers were a legal lease agreement. The victims included families with children who had been living at various addresses, sometimes motels, and were looking for a better place to live.
It appears the vacant houses had been broken into and the locks were changed. Ms. Hackett and Ms. Turner then gave the renters the new key. In both houses, the electricity had been turned on and the water worked.
Detectives believe Hackett and Turner could be responsible for additional home rental frauds. Sherrie Hackett uses several aliases: Monique, Darren, Emoni Jackson, Tiffany Bolden, Tanya Bowman and Tanya Perkins. Her nickname is Pebbles.
Both women have been charged on a criminal summons with forgery, fraud, theft and identity theft. Anyone with additional information or those who believe they may have been victims of this fraud are asked to call Detective C. Gilroy of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigations Division at (301) 609-6484.