SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Summerville police filed a new charge against a man accused of renting out foreclosed homes to unsuspecting tenants.
Earl Johnson, Jr., faces a charge of obtaining goods or money by false pretenses in connection with a home he allegedly rented to a family in the Summerhaven subdivision, according to court documents.
The victim told police she paid a $1,000 deposit to rent a home on Towering Pine Drive, according to an affidavit. She said she had previously rented a property from him in Hanahan but that it was uninhabitable. While living there, she said she was contacted by a realty company and told she could not live there, a police report states.
The victim told Summerville police that the Hanahan Police Department told her she was being defrauded and suggested she get the landlord to find them another place. The victim contacted Summerville police about Johnson after seeing a post on social media urging anyone who had rented properties from Johnson to contact law enforcement, the police report states.
Court documents state the registered homeowner said the home should be vacant and that Johnson has no legal right to rent out her property.
Johnson is already facing similar charges in Goose Creek. Johnson turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning at the Berkeley County Jail, insisting his innocence and complaining about the manner in which Goose Creek police released information that they were searching for him.
"They obviously put me on the news like I was a murderer, that's why," Johnson said on Tuesday. "I didn't commit any crime, I reserve my right and that's what I do."
Goose Creek police said they received multiple calls from potential victims of Johnson's alleged scheme. Goose Creek Police Capt. John Grainger said Tuesday some of those victims were referred to surrounding jurisdictions.