FOX 8 Defenders: Alleged home rental scam artist back in jail

FOX 8 Defenders: Alleged home rental scam artist back in jail

MARRERO, LA (WVUE) - "We still trying to get back to normal even though it's been a year," Catina Carter said.

Carter explained she's still paying on debt she inherited after her family of five became victims in what Jefferson Parish detectives called an elaborate scheme on the west bank.

"Our kids went to family members. We went into a hotel," she said.

They were forced to pack up their lives and move after they were served an eviction notice at the Harvey home they had been renting. It turns out a lending company actually owned it, not the man Carter says she signed a lease with and paid rent to in person each month.

"In his case, he had keys. He had professional plumbers, professional electricians coming out. If I had a problem, everybody who came out was licensed," Carter said.

The FOX 8 Defenders first exposed what happened in this neighborhood. Besides Carter, Gelender Harrison, a retired school teacher, and Lakitha Bailey, a single mother of four told us they're victims of the same man and the same scam. Detectives arrested Kyron Hunter on theft by fraud after they say he advertised and rented out properties he didn't own, collecting thousands of dollars.

Just after she paid Hunter rent in April of 2015, Carter had to turn around and foot a hotel bill for a month on top of storage costs for her family's belongings.

"Everything was in storage so it was us going back and forth from the storage to the hotel to whoever had the kids at the time. It was real hard," she said.

While he awaits trial on the theft charges, the FOX 8 Defenders have learned Kyron Hunter is back behind bars, this time for attempting to commit theft at #10 Briarfield Drive in Marrero valued at more than $25,000 on or between Oct. 2015 and March 23, according to records filed in 24th Judicial District Court.

We went straight to the Plantation Estates neighborhood, looking for answers. The two-story Acadian home in disrepair stands out with its overgrown yard in the manicured neighborhood. The front door appeared to be nailed shut, and taped on the door was a notice that animals had been taken in to custody.

Neighbors tell FOX 8 the Briarfield Drive home had been vacant for years until a few months ago when a man, a woman and a couple of dogs moved in.  They had been living in the house and were not the owners, according to neighbors who explained that in March, the couple was kicked out and arrested.  Remember Hunter and a woman, Tamika Gotch, were both arrested recently for attempting to commit theft of that property. It's the same property Hunter recently listed as his home address in Criminal Court records.

Meantime, Hunter also faces charges of injuring pubic records, meaning the intentional removal or destruction of records.

"It makes me mad and aggravated at the same time," Carter said.

She'd like to move on, but first wants Hunter to repay her family for the debts they're still dealing with a year later. Hunter is due back in court Monday for motion hearings on several of his cases.

The FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women also field consumer complaints at 1-877-670-6397 or fill out an online complaint form.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.