FOX 8 Defenders Follow-up: Rental scam investigation uncovers mo - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

FOX 8 Defenders Follow-up: Rental scam investigation uncovers more trouble in JP

Kyron Hunter (FOX 8 Photo) Kyron Hunter (FOX 8 Photo)
HARVEY, LA (WVUE) -

The subject of a FOX 8 Defenders rental scam investigation in Jefferson Parish remains locked up, but we're now learning that prior to his arrest, Kyron Hunter filed several questionable documents that could cause even more problems for property owners down the road.

In a quiet Harvey neighborhood separated by just a few blocks, three women shared a frightening connection earlier this year. Lakietha Bailey, a single mother of four; Gelender Harrison, a retired school teacher; and Catina Carter, a wife and mother, all say they're victims of Hunter and the scam he ran advertising and renting out properties he didn't own, and collecting thousands of dollars. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says Hunter's elaborate scheme also involved homes in Gretna and Marrero. 

The people who believed Hunter was the owner say he had keys to the properties, leases that looked legitimate and repair crews that were available anytime.  "Something broke in here, and he had somebody out there fixing so quick you'd a had a headache," Harrison said.

That's why tenants were shocked when they received eviction notices, learning that Hunter didn't own the homes, and some of them were bank-owned.  "I came home to an eviction notice on my door. It said I have 72 hours," Carter said. When they started asking Hunter questions, they all shared similar stories.  "He said, 'Well Ms. Carter, you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go head on and go to the courthouse and I'm gonna file an order to stop everything,'" Carter said.

Carter said Hunter showed her documents such as an affidavit of ownership filed into the record at 24th Judicial District Court. In it, he explains how he took corporeal possession - essentially physical possession of the Harvey home - after it had "seemingly been abandoned for over six months."  In his document, Hunter noted, "the doors were unlocked" and the grass "high and untamed."  It went on to say he's got invoices and receipts totaling $5,800 for repairing all damages. Another document filed into the public record shows a list of $9,000 spent repairing another property, from "installing light fixtures" to "changing pipes to repair a leak in the wall." 

"He's citing legitimate articles from our civil code that are, in fact, about possession and how you could acquire ownership through possession," Tulane Property Law Professor Sally Brown Richardson said.  She says the problem is, Hunter misapplied the articles. "You can't simply say because I've been in possession, because I have mowed the lawn, because I've made some fix, I am now the owner. Our law requires that you be in possession, but you be in possession for 30 years," she said. 

Hunter's alleged victims say he also used a different name on leases and other documents. Court documents show Hunter filed a public record "correcting" his name as Khara Amun Bey, but the court says it was never legally changed, and according to law enforcement, he claims to be a sovereign citizen.

"They (sovereign citizens) contend the laws are unconstitutional and file whatever they want and make up their own rules, and that has been going on across the country," Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer explained.  He says courts from Massachusetts to California have experienced sovereign citizens like Hunter who flood the public record, filing frivolous documents like he's done here.  

Jefferson Clerk of Court Mortgage and Conveyance Supervisor Cindy Meador says she's aware of 20 to 30 documents filed by Hunter over the last couple of years. "There's a good little bit of record, and there's going to be a good stack of properties that are going to be affected. Their titles will be possibly at some point in time clouded due to his filings," Meador said. 

Meador explained that before his arrest, employees in her office were familiar with Hunter's name because of the volume of documents he filed into the public record. Legally, you can file anything as long as you have an original signature - but that doesn't make it true. Hunter filed affidavits to take actual ownership and liens, claiming to have done work on the properties.  

"As far as changing title, he's not accomplished anything in that way, but he is going to give possibly some innocent people some trouble with a clear title because of those liens," Meador said.  According to her, Hunter's questionable filings could cause someone a lot of headaches on at least a handful of properties.  "If you're trying to make a refinance with a lower interest rate, but you gotta lock it in for a week or two, this could definitely make someone lose that," Meador said. 

"We are looking at this on the national level as to what various jurisdictions can do to perhaps craft some kind of legislation, which would would allow us to refuse these documents," Gegenheimer said. 

If you have a consumer complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders at 1-877-670-6397, fill out our online complaint form or email us at fox8defenders@fox8live.com?

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