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Real estate fraud scheme cheats homeowners out of rent

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Real estate broker James Montgomery and his wife formed Sun Village Realty Inc. to rent vacation homes owned by absentee owners. Rental commissions of 25 percent to 30 percent were charged to the owners. The management contracts with the owners did not prohibit or permit use of the houses by the rental agency employees or guests without notice or payment to the owners. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. After 1992, Mary O'Connor managed the rental agency office. Evidence showed the houses were being rented, but the owners were not fully compensated for the rent paid by guests. In 1999, a grand jury indicted Montgomery, Mrs. Montgomery and O'Connor for 19 counts of mail fraud involving the rentals. Before trial, Mrs. Montgomery agreed to testify against her husband and O'Connor. Evidence showed 1,006 discrepancies between the owners' statements and the vacation-home cleaning records and reservation calendars; 2,154 rental nights were not reported to the owners; and $264,021 incom...