Exclusive: Fraud suspect turns himself in, claims innocence

Published: Aug. 18, 2015 at 3:22 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2015 at 5:04 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - A man accused of renting homes in foreclosure in Goose Creek turned himself in Tuesday morning while insisting he did not commit a crime.

Goose Creek Police say 39-year-old Earl Johnson Jr. allegedly has been renting out foreclosed homes in the city and has been collecting rent from tenants. He faces charges of third degree burglary and obtaining a signature or property under false pretenses, according to Goose Creek Police Capt. John Grainger.

Johnson was escorted to the Berkeley County Detention Center by Elder James Johnson, who is not related to the suspect, and Charles Tyler of the National Action Network.

"They obviously put me on the news like I was a murderer, that's why," Johnson said. "I didn't commit any crime, I reserve my right and that's what I do."

Goose Creek police say they received multiple calls from potential victims of Johnson's alleged scheme of fraudulently renting homes over which he has no legal rights to unsuspecting tenants. Some victims have been referred to surrounding jurisdictions, Grainger said in a statement.

Goose Creek Police say Johnson also goes by the name of Elder Noble.

Investigators are asking anyone who has rented from Johnson to contact them.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.